WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today at the 2024 Winter Policy Conference, members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture encouraged federal agencies to develop strategies that address agricultural labor shortages across the country.
The action item aims to encourage the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Labor and the United States Department of Homeland Security to immediately collaborate on a strategy to secure the labor force and ensure the success of the nation’s agricultural industry. NASDA simultaneously urges Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform to ease agricultural workforce challenges.
“Labor shortages in the agricultural industry affect the entire supply chain, making it more difficult for the country to compete in the global marketplace and threatening our overall food and national security,” NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said. “With many changes in wage rates and proposed regulations in the past few months and years, NASDA members are navigating this issue in their states as farmers and ranchers operate in a complex regulatory environment. Our producers need federal agencies who oversee the H-2A and H-2B process, specifically the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security, to work collaboratively with USDA to develop a long-term strategy for addressing these challenges.”
Read more about NASDA’s work to seek labor reform at nasda.org.