Idaho Dairyman’s Association says that ag labor reform needs to happen soon
Not being able to find enough help is a major problem for every business right now, especially agriculture.
Idaho Dairyman’s Association says that it is not a pay issue because ag workers are some of the highest paid workers in any given rural town.
In Idaho, they are paid nearly $15 dollars an hour.
The CEO shares what will happen to the dairy sector if meaningful ag labor reform fails to happen in DC soon.
“We’ll continue to not see a domestic workforce come in to fill these jobs and so we’ll keep fighting among ourselves for the few workers we can get, and we’ll see wages continue to increase, and that just puts economic pressure on the smaller operations and you will see an increase in consolidation, not just of dairy, but of all ag operations,” Rick Naerebout states. “You’re going to drive more consolidation as you put that financial pressure on the smaller producers.”
The U.S. Labor Secretary says that his department is working with Congress on labor reform, so employers can have consistency.
The Farm Workforce Modernization bill that passed the House would allow for year-round usage of the H-2A program. It is awaiting Senate approval.