The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday that highlighted the importance of immigrant farmworkers to our nation’s food supply and rural communities.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) thanked the Committee for holding the hearing.
In a release NMPF said, “Immigrant employees are vital to the dairy industry, with an estimated 79% of the U.S. milk supply produced on farms that employ immigrant workers. Dairy farmers know firsthand of dedicated and skilled teams that are led by and include immigrants; most producers also can speak to the challenges farms and rural communities face due to uncertainty surrounding the farm workforce.”
“Dairy farmers currently cannot use the H-2A guestworker program because they produce milk year-round. Providing an earned legal protection for current workers is crucial, but it narrowly addresses only one aspect of the crisis. We must also reform the ag labor system so dairy farmers can hire legal guestworkers and do not remain trapped in a still-broken ag labor system moving forward. Both features must be present in any real solution.”
NMPF is urging the Senate to seize the present opportunity to craft its own ag workforce reform bill that both provides legal protections to our current workers and restructures H-2A.