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Lawmaker’s Working Group to Address Farm Labor Shortage

Members of the House Agriculture Committee have formed a bipartisan Agricultural Labor Working Group to tackle the ag industry’s continual labor shortage and address other workforce issues.

The group is chaired by Representatives Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Don Davis (D-NC). It will look at solutions to the agriculture industry’s labor needs, including reforming the existing H-2A visa program. Those visas currently allow agricultural employers who meet specific requirements to bring a limited number of foreign nationals to the U.S. to fill temporary, seasonal farm jobs. However, in recent years the number has been insufficient to meet the workforce needs of livestock farmers that need year-round employees.

The National Pork Producers Council supports expanding the H-2A visa program to year-round agricultural laborers. It also backs reforming the visa system to help with complexity, backlogs, predictability, and costs. The committee will issue an interim report detailing both the challenges and potential solutions.

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