AFBF would like an updated H-2A visa program

The American Farm Bureau Federation says Congress needs to overhaul the seasonal H-2A guest worker program to help alleviate a tight labor market.

John Walt Boatright, director of government affairs, says the 40-year-old program is outdated and is difficult for producers and businesses to use. “It was formatted and designed in a way that is not dealing with the volume of the workers we are seeing now and the usage we are seeing across the US.  There is a lot of opportunity to improve and streamline processes within the H-2A program.”

He tells Brownfield producers can be negatively impacted hourly wages, too.  “We’re looking at trying to remedy a wage rate that is unpredictable and fundamentally flawed.  That would be helpful.”

Boatright says AFBF would like to open the program to non-seasonal workers since may sectors of the industry operate year round.

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