Dairy cooperative hopes for ag labor reform when Congress returns

A dairy group is hopeful Congress moves quickly on a foreign labor bill when recess is over.

Mykel Wedig is the Associate Director of Government Affairs for Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative.  She says Congress must first finish the appropriations process since they need to fund the government by Sept 30th. “That will take up a lot of space in the next two months, but then past that, ag labor is something that they can make some movement on.” 

Wedig says the Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed the House, but the Senate is only beginning work on the bill.  She says the bill allows year-round work visas, but not nearly enough of them. “It only allows 20-thousand to begin with and that’s not quite enough to fill the demand, and so we would like to see that cap lifted or even eliminated.”

Wedig says the U.S. hasn’t had significant immigration reform in more than 30 years and now is the time to get some bipartisan agreement so farmers can hire the help they need.  She’s also hopeful the appropriations process provides additional funding for disaster aid.

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