According to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the U.S. pork industry is suffering from a labor shortage that could increase production costs and consumer food prices if not addressed through visa reform to provide better access to the foreign-born workers on which it depends. And NPPC President Jen Sorenson testified Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about this shortage.
U.S. pork production is a year-round effort, requiring a hardworking and dedicated workforce on farms and in processing plants. Pork producers offer jobs with good pay and benefits, but most Americans do not live near hog farms or harvest facilities and rural populations continue to decline, causing the U.S. pork industry to be largely dependent on foreign-born workers.
Sorenson said, “Current visa programs designed for seasonal agriculture, such as the H-2A visa, fail to meet the workforce needs of U.S. pork producers and other year-round livestock farmers. Now more than ever, we need a dedicated, year-round workforce,” Sorenson told the committee. If not addressed, the labor shortage “could lead to farms and packing plants shutting down, causing serious financial harm to the communities in which they operate.”
To address the labor shortage, NPPC is advocating for year-round access to the H-2A visa program without a cap. Learn more on the NPPC website.