U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos visited with Illinois hog farmers and the Illinois Pork Producers Association last week. The Illinois Democrat discussed the upcoming budget reconciliation package and potential areas of concern to pork producers. During a farm visit, producers shared concerns with the possible elimination of the “step-up in basis,” as well as a new capital gains tax event at death. Additionally, producers discussed the need to reform the H-2A visa program, noting the severe shortfalls in available domestic labor.
A recently updated Iowa State University study found that despite competitive wages and an expanding workforce, the U.S. pork industry continues to struggle with a labor shortage. The pork industry uses the H-2A visa program for specialized work, but cannot use the program for most labor needs because of its seasonal limitation. The National Pork Producers Council urges Congress to provide year-round access to the H-2A visa program without a cap.