Washington, D.C. (August 3, 2022)—446 agricultural trade associations, agribusinesses and farmer co-ops yesterday called on the Senate to pass an agriculture workforce reform bill this Congress. The call came in a letter to Senate leadership in both parties that was copied to all 100 Senators.
“American farmers and consumers need the U.S. Senate to pass farmworker visa reform this year,” the groups state. “From the COVID-19 pandemic to the war in Ukraine, the range of challenges we currently face reiterates that our national security is tied to our ability to feed ourselves, and that ability is currently under threat due to the agricultural workforce crisis across America’s farms and agribusinesses. The domestic workforce shortage remains one of the greatest challenges impacting our farmers today.”
The letter noted that reform is especially critical to helping not only farmers and agricultural workers, but consumers as well, citing a recent study by Texas A&M International University that linked immigration and ag labor reform with lower consumer prices for food. This is especially important as the U.S. economy experiences the highest inflation in over 40 years.
“Reforms that provide farmers certainty and mitigate against spiraling production costs will support three goals in America’s interest: affordable food, domestic production, and national security,” the letter concludes. “As representatives of agricultural organizations throughout the United States, we stand ready to help you develop and pass legislation to fully address the needs of American agriculture and every American consumer. We thank Senator Bennet and Senator Crapo for their bipartisan leadership on this critical issue and encourage you to work with them to advance a Senate bill.”
A copy of the letter can be found online at http://www.agworkforcecoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/d8_AWCSenateCalltoActionAug22022.pdf.
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.