Employment expert hopes feds expand and reform H-2A

Beth VanDrie

An agent for an agricultural labor agency is hoping the federal government makes reforms to the H-2A agricultural visa program.

Beth VanDrie with Arlene Resource Management tells Brownfield she’s hopeful Washington makes changes to the H-2A beyond allowing year-round workers to help the dairy producers.  VanDrie says the existing system for processing worker visas is unsustainable. “For the people that are in charge of processing all of the paperwork and making sure that it’s running smoothly for us, it seems to be an overwhelming workload right now. I do think some reform is needed.”

VanDrie says the redundancy in paperwork and increased visa fees are not the only problems. “Such as Adverse Effect Wage Rate that’s mandated to be paid. As that grows and increases, all of that cost gets passed onto the growers.”

VanDrie says improving communication between the people regulating the program, growers, and farm-level contractors like her will only help the program get better.

VanDrie spoke to Brownfield at the Growing Wisconsin conference, formerly called the Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference In Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

AUDIO: Beth VanDrie discusses H-2A problems with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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