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John Walt Boatright, director of government affairs, says the 40-year-old program is outdated and is difficult for producers and businesses to use.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.