AFBF Hosts Webcast On Labor Visa Backlogs

Lizzy Schultz

Delays from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the processing of visas for farm workers are fast approaching crisis proportions, increasing the threat that crops will rot in the field on many farms this year, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall said in a media conference call this week. …

AFBF, Ag Group, Farm Bureau, Farm Policy, Farming, Government, labor

Candidate Trump Addresses #Farm Labor Issues

Cindy Zimmerman

Like Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump also had the opportunity to address the issue of immigration as it relates to farm labor during a CNN town hall forum Tuesday night. Wisconsin dairy farmer John Pagel explained to Trump that the state’s dairy industry “is being challenged right now by having a labor force dependent on an immigration …

Audio, Dairy, Government, labor, politics

Ag Groups React to EPA Farmworker Standards Update

John Davis

Ag groups are reacting to the Environmental Protection Agency’s final revisions to the Worker Protection Standard. The American Farm Bureau Federation worries the government is getting away from a science-based approach in guarding against risk. “Farm Bureau shares the agency’s desire to protect workers, but we are concerned that the agency is piling regulatory costs on farmers and ranchers that …

AFBF, ARA, EPA, Farming, Government, labor

EPA Updates Farmworker Standards

Cindy Zimmerman

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released updated farmworker standards to provide health protections under the law similar to those already afforded to workers in other industries. “We depend on farmworkers every day to help put the food we eat on America’s dinner tables—and they deserve fair, equitable working standards with strong health and safety protections,” said EPA Administrator Gina …

Audio, Farming, Government, labor

Ag is Target for Guest Worker Audits

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture has a target on its back when it comes to compliance with guest worker regulations, according to Eileen Scofield an immigration law attorney who held a workshop at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting this week. “Currently there’s three agencies that focus on employers but for ag in particular there’s about five or six other separate laws which are …

AFBF, Audio, labor

No Agriculture in Obama Immigration Action

Cindy Zimmerman

President Obama made good on his promise to make changes in the nation’s “broken” immigration system, but there’s no mention of agriculture or farm workers in his plan. “In practical terms, we do not expect the president’s initiative to help America’s farmers deal with the real labor challenges they face,” said American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman in a …

AFBF, Government, labor

Iowa Congressman at Farm Progress Show

Cindy Zimmerman

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) stopped in at the Farm Progress Show media tent to visit with us about the latest topics on his mind in Washington DC. King talked about the inability of Congress to get much done this year. “It’s the nature of the political gridlock that exists when the Democrats run the Senate and the Republicans run the …

Audio, Ethanol, Farm Progress Show, Government, labor

Immigration Reform Action Day

Cindy Zimmerman

A coalition of leading business, manufacturing, and agriculture groups – including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Partnership for a New American Economy, Business Roundtable, the American Farm Bureau Federation, AmericanHort, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Western Growers – held a Day of Action for immigration reform today. The group held a national press conference in Washington and events in …

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Audio, labor, specialty crops

Vilsack and Farm Workers Want Immigration Reform

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez and Nisei Farmers League President Manuel Cunha on a conference call Monday to discuss the importance of commonsense immigration reform for California’s agriculture economy and rural communities. “There’s no more important state to agriculture than the state of California,” said Vilsack. “It is a farm economy that is very …

Audio, Government, labor, USDA

Farmers Present Case for Immigration Reform

Cindy Zimmerman

The Partnership for a New American Economy and the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform released a report Tuesday entitled “No Longer Home Grown: How Labor Shortages are Increasing America’s Reliance on Imported Fresh Produce and Slowing U.S. Economic Growth.” The report found that the share of fresh fruits and vegetables imported and consumed by American families has grown by almost …

AFBF, Ag Group, Audio, labor