Demand persists for H-2A amid difficulties

Demand for the H-2A guest worker program is not slowing down despite escalating costs. 

Head Honchos founder Todd Miller has been helping farmers across the country navigate the H-2A guest worker program for nearly 25 years. 

“Without this program, people are closing the doors,” he says.  “People cannot simply cannot afford to keep working.”

Next year his business expects to recruit up to an additional 40,000 workers as demand increases.

“The entire United States experienced a labor shortage like we’ve never seen before, and the ag market is hurting even worse because these tend to be less desirable jobs, tend to be arduous type work, and they just don’t attract the kind of workers that are willing to do that kind of work,” he shares.

Miller says the choice for farmers is not easy or cheap.

“Farmers tend to be frustrated with the process and the price increase, and part of it is they don’t know where it’s going to stop,” he says. The other part of the frustration is no one’s getting more money for their products, but their inputs are going up.”

Miller says some farms he’s working with are adapting more technology to reduce their labor needs, but the program overall continues to experience record demand because additional farmers and ranchers are turning to it out of necessity.

Brownfield interviewed Miller during this week’s Great Lakes Expo.

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