Workforce shortages handicapping growth in agriculture


Workforce shortages handicapping growth in agriculture

Growth among farms and agribusinesses is being stunted by workforce shortages.

Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig says a lack of workers is without a doubt the number one economic issue in his state.

“I visit all kinds of businesses and farms, and really across the board every one will tell me that workforce shortage is their number one issue. We flat out have more jobs available than people to fill them.”

He tells Brownfield farms and agribusinesses looking to expand can’t because they don’t have the people.

“Now think of that, even in a disrupted supply chain unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, demand is so great that we’re missing opportunities to grow. Now, that becomes a headwind for the state of Iowa.”

Naig says the legislature is very keen on investing in Iowa’s workforce.

“We’re looking at everything from how do we meet the need for meat processors, to folks to go out and do conservation practices on the ground, to work on farms of all kinds and all kinds of businesses.”

Brownfield interviewed Naig Wednesday during the Iowa Ag Expo in Des Moines.