Ag industry leaders have shown support for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which aims to improve the process of hiring seasonal and permanent workers.

Many sectors of the ag industry rely heavily on seasonal workers to harvest crops, and it can be a challenge given the issues with the H-2A Program. The proposed Farm Workforce Modernization Act aims to improve the process of hiring seasonal and permanent workers for those in agriculture, and many ag industry leaders are showing support for the proposed legislation, according to a Growing Produce article. Explore the details below.

Details of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act

According to the article, the legislation was proposed by Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA). It aims to “streamline the legal channels for future seasonal and permanent workers and clarify the hiring process.” It’s three main sections are:

  1. Earned Status for Certified Agricultural Workers
  2. Improving the H-2A Program
  3. Mandatory E-Verify for the Agricultural Sector

The proposed legislation has been met with praise from ag industry leaders whose words were shared in the article. Find excerpts below:

Robert Guenther, Senior VP, Public Affairs, United Fresh Produce Association: “This was the result of months of negotiation sessions with Democratic and Republican House offices, industry stakeholders, and farmworker advocates. Most importantly, this bill addresses many of the issues the fresh produce industry has been advocating for over the last two decades including a pathway to legalization for the current workforce and significant reforms to the H-2A program.

Craig Regelbrugge, Senior VP, AmericanHort: “This bipartisan compromise advances an important debate and provides a platform for serious consideration of urgently needed reforms addressing the agricultural sector and farm employees.”

Tom Nassif, President & CEO, Western Growers: “The introduction of this bill, which is the product of many months of dedicated work and careful negotiation between legislators, staff, and key stakeholders, constitutes an agreement that few thought was possible.”

See a summary of the details of the bill here.

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