House members reintroduce Farm Workforce Modernization Act
The National Pork Producers Council says legislation introduced this week to reform the H-2A visa program is a step in the right direction.
Jen Sorenson, an Iowa pork producer and president of NPPC says the Farm Workforce Modernization Act would amend the current program to allow a capped number of visas for farmworkers to work year-round. “Existing visa programs are designed for season agriculture,” she says. “That is not a good fit for the US pork sector where the work is full-time, year-round.”
She says the US pork industry suffers from a serious labor shortage and without visa reform to support a more sustainable workforce, production costs will likely rise. “Restricting foreign workers hurts US agriculture as these jobs will simply not be filled by US citizens due to declines in populations in rural areas, where most farms and packing plants are located.”
The bill was introduced by Representatives Zoe Lofgren a Democrat from California and Dan Newhouse a republican from Washington.
AUDIO: Jen Sorenson, National Pork Producers Council