Today was the first of four House Ag Committee field hearings scheduled around the country focused on the Farm Bill. The hearing was held at the North Country Community College in the state of New York.
Chairman Frank Lucas started off the questioning portion of the hearing by noting the challenges of the budget process in this Farm Bill.
Labor for specialty crops was a key focus during the second panel of the hearing.
During the hearing, Ralph child, who is a current member of the National Potato Council’s Board of Directors and owner of Childstock Farms, highlighted the priorities of specialty crop producers. One of those priorities being labor issues.
Child says the specialty crop industry is labor intensive and programs like Mandatory E-verify without an agriculture worker program would have negative consequences to growers like himself.
House Ag Committee members were curious to know if the panelists would speak in favor of program that would provide for the allowance of individuals currently in the country, whether it be illegal or not, to obtain a work visa. Child had this response.
Eric Ooms, a dairy producer, also shared that young people are important for labor.
The next House Ag Committee Farm Bill hearing will be on March 23 at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois.