Labor concerns rise as visa processing halts in Mexico
The National Pork Producers Council is calling on the US government to prevent the already severe labor shortage situation from becoming a crisis.
Jen Sorenson, the president-elect of the NPPC, says the decision by the US Department of State to suspend visa processing in Mexico could worsen the labor situation in the US pork industry. “Hog farmers use the TN Visa program,” she says. “Those employees need to physically go to the consulate to apply for a visa. This is an immediate grave concern for hog farmers across the US.”
She tells Brownfield pork producers are asking that farming and ranching be declared an essential service to the country. “We are asking for support in getting these visa candidates up into the United States in the short-term,” she says. “We’re also needing some clarity from the US Department of Transportation that farms are part of a critical domestic infrastructure needed to produce the food that feeds American and the world.”
The designation would ensure the uninterrupted supply of commercial feed and other hog production inputs to farms. It would also allow for the transport of livestock from farm to market.
She says it’s important to get ahead of any impending challenges to ensure the framework is in place to keep the pork supply chain operational and for pork producers to be able to play their role in providing food for the nation.
AUDIO: Jen Sorenson, National Pork Producers Council