The National Pork Producers Council this week released a study from Iowa State University (ISU) on the agricultural workforce. ISU economists determined that a reduction in the foreign-born workforce – prompted by a change in immigration policy – would not be offset by native-born workers and permanent residents. Instead, they found, the tighter supply of foreign-born workers would reduce overall demand for workers as production costs increase and would decrease agricultural output as farmers abandon labor-intensive operations. The result would be a 3.4 to 5.5 percent decrease in the total number of farm workers.
NPPC is supporting congressional legislation creating a new visa program for non-seasonal foreign agricultural workers to remain in the United States for up to three years while deferring a portion of their pay as incentive for periodic “touchbacks” to their country. The H-2C visa would replace the current H-2A temporary, seasonal agricultural worker program. The legislation initially would let agricultural employers hire up to 410,000 foreign workers for on-farm jobs and 40,000 for meatpacking plants. It also would put the H-2C program under USDA rather than the Department of Labor.
Click here to read the study….. http://nppc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Boessen-Artz-Schulz-NPPC-Labor-Study-Submitted-2018-03-07.pdf.
PORK PRODUCERS TO LOBBY CONGRESS ON INDUSTRY ISSUES NEXT WEEK
NPPC next Wednesday and Thursday will host its spring Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C. The biannual fly-in draws from around the country about 125 pork producers who will lobby congressional lawmakers on issues of importance to the U.S. pork industry, including the importance of maintaining and expanding export opportunities, funding a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank in the next Farm Bill and establishing a regulatory environment that keeps food affordable. The popular Congressional Bacon Fest will be held April 11.