A legal workforce for agriculture will help with inflation, according to Congressman Simpson
Ag labor concerns remain top of mind for producers as this year’s growing season kicks off. Idaho congressman Mike Simpson has been leading a charge for immigration reform on Capitol Hill. He says U.S. agriculture needs a reliable, stable workforce.
“The Judiciary Committee is busy with a lot of things. We need to get them focused on immigration. And it’s hard to focus just on ag immigration when what’s going on at the border is going on. And we need to let them know that this is different than what’s going on at the border right now. And, in fact, passing this would probably help solve some of the problems with what’s going on at the border. Republicans are worried about inflation. Studies have been showing that if you get a legal workforce for agriculture, it will help with inflation. It will help with food costs. What agriculture needs is a stable, reliable workforce,” Simpson said.
The National Ag Statistics Service says the number of self-employed and family farm workers fell 74 percent from 1950 through 1990. The American Farm Bureau shows right now, U.S. Ag is short roughly two million hired workers.
Representative Simpson says it will take a grassroots effort to get immigration reform passed in Washington.
“But what we need is a concerted effort by agriculture throughout the country. And remember, we had 300 ag groups that supported it, and not just Ag groups, but Chambers of Commerce, and National Bankers Associations, all supported this bill that we had. We need all of them to be calling representatives on the Judiciary Committee, representatives of leadership in the House and in the Senate, to let them know how important this bill is, and what it means to our food supply, and, as we mentioned, to national security,” Simpson said.
Story via NAFB