Washington, D.C. (December 19, 2022)–Nearly 250 farm groups, co-ops and agribusinesses representing a broad cross section of American agriculture today called on Senate leadership to act on legislation to address the labor crisis faced by farmers, ranchers and growers across the country. The groups urged that the Senate act before the end of the year to approve the Affordable and Secure Food Act, introduced by Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
“Sen. Bennet’s legislation provides stability for our existing workers and makes key reforms to
the H-2A program, the visa program producers use to hire legal temporary workers to
supplement the available U.S. workforce,” the letter states. “While the bill is not perfect, it provides a significant step forward by providing access to guest workers for many sectors in the industry and will account for real cost savings for farmers and consumers across the country.”
The letter also notes that the ag labor crisis faced by farmers has only deepened in the past year and the impact has expanded across the agriculture sector, before concluding, “[t]he country cannot afford for the Senate to miss this opportunity to provide stability to both farmers and farmworkers. We implore the Senate to pass legislation to address our agricultural workforce challenges and ease inflationary pressure on food costs for all Americans.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 2,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.