Farm Bureau Urges Changes to Temporary Worker Program

Revisions are needed to prevent serious labor shortages.

Published on: Apr 16, 2008

The American Farm Bureau Federation has submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor suggesting several changes to the H2A temporary worker program. They say revisions to the program are needed to help alleviate a serious shortage in the number of available agricultural workers and recommend moving toward a market-based wage in the program.

"Growers have been clamoring for years for a more sensible, market-based wage," says AFBF President Bob Stallman. "We are hopeful the Labor Department can implement this reform in an open, transparent manner that makes it easier for farmers and ranchers to use the program."

Elimination of the 50% rule regarding domestic recruitment, use of housing vouchers and including the packing, processing and dairy industry in the program were among reforms recommended by the AFBF. They also asked that proposed fees for program users be scaled back.