Washington, D.C. (December 11, 2019)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) urged members of the House to vote “yes” on H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act when it comes to the floor later today. The legislation would address the labor crisis being faced by farmers and ranchers across the country. Its provisions would provide an adjustment in status for those current experienced farmworkers without proper documentation and would modernize the H-2A guest worker visa program for agricultural workers.
“The House of Representatives has the chance today to address one of the most significant challenges facing American agriculture—the lack of an adequate workforce to tend and harvest crops or care for animals,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “H.R. 5038 is a bipartisan bill that is the result of ag employer and farm worker organizations working together to find a path forward to address this labor crisis. By passing this bill, the House can send a message to millions of farmers and ranchers at a time of tremendous uncertainty in rural America.”
“We also urge the Senate to begin work on similar legislation to enact immigration reform for agriculture,” Conner continued. “At a time when many people decry the partisan gridlock in Washington, this issue provides a unique opportunity to make progress on a priority vital to the future of agriculture.”
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.