Ag Groups, Organizations React to House Passing Labor Bill

Several agricultural groups and organizations reacted positively to the news that the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The National Farmers Union says the bill is the product of negotiations between a diverse array of agricultural stakeholders and farmworker advocates. “Our current farm labor system is badly broken,” says NFU President Roger Johnson. “This bill secures a legal and adequate supply of workers for family farmers and ranchers, as well as stability for farmworkers who help put food on our tables.” United Fresh Produce Association says the produce industry has suffered for far too long under a system that doesn’t meet its need for labor. The organization says, “This represents an important step in ending decades of uncertainty for growers of fresh fruits and vegetables.” Dairy groups, one of the hardest-hit ag sectors when it comes to labor shortages, are also pleased with the bill’s passage. The National Milk Producers Federation says the legislation helps to address the dairy industry’s unique workforce challenges, which is the need for year-round labor. The current labor program is seasonally-based. NMPF CEO Jim Mulhern says, “Agricultural reform is long overdue.” Mike McCloskey, Chair of the NMPF’s Immigration Task Force, says, “The urgency to reform the agricultural labor system cannot be overstated for dairy farmers.”