The recently modified language of the AG Act, contained in the Securing America’s Future Act, represents an opportunity for dairy, livestock and agriculture producers from across our nation to secure the reliable labor force necessary to ensure access to safe and affordable nutrition for families across the globe.
Farmers of the dairy, livestock and agriculture industries contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Year after year, the domestic workforce passes up the labor-intensive jobs that are required to produce food, despite increased wages and employee benefit packages. With the global population projected to reach 10 billion by the year 2050, the dairy, livestock, and agriculture industries are tasked with providing affordable, safe and abundant nutrition to more individuals than ever before in human history.
Without a viable workforce, American consumers will be importing food from other countries that do not have the high standards our farmers and consumers relish in the United States.
According to a Texas A&M study on “The Economic Impacts of Immigrant Labor on Dairy Farms,” 51% of the labor on dairy farms, which produce approximately 80% of our nation’s milk supply, is composed of immigrant labor. If all immigrant labor on dairy farms were to suddenly disappear, the following catastrophic results would occur:
- U.S. dairy herd would be reduced by 2.1 million cows
- Retail milk prices would increase by 90.4 percent
- U.S. economic output reduction would be by $32.1 billion
- An estimated hundreds of thousands of dairy-related jobs would be eliminated
The dairy industry has waited more than 20 years for positive immigration reform. The American Dairy Coalition, and the thousands of producers we represent across the nation commend the hard work of the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, for his recent modifications to the AG Act language. ADC will continue to work with the Chairman to ensure the dire need of our industry for a reliable labor force does not become any worse.
We ask that all legislators support producers across the nation by supporting the inclusion of the AG Act within the Securing America’s Future Act. Our future and the future generations of farmers depend on efficient access to workers in order to provide timely, affordable and safe agricultural products to our growing national and global population.