Lawmakers fuse together bipartisan working group to tackle ag labor challenges

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WASHINGTON, DC — House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-15) and Ranking Member David Scott (GA-13) released the following joint statement after announcing the formation of the bipartisan Agricultural Labor Working Group, focusing on the workforce issues faced by the nation’s agricultural producers:

“The Committee on Agriculture has heard loud and clear from producers across the nation that one of the biggest challenges confronting the agriculture industry is a lack of reliable labor. Though not directly in our committee’s jurisdiction, we have a responsibility to be a voice in Congress on the issues and policies impacting farmers and ranchers. This is a complex problem that deserves the focused attention of the Members who hear from producers every day rather than the partisan grandstanding that has plagued these efforts in the past.”

Members of the working group have been selected from current Committee members and aim to represent every sector and geographical region of American agriculture.

Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-01) and Don Davis (NC-01) will co-chair the working group. The working group will:

  • Seek input from stakeholders, employers, and workers, particularly emphasizing the H-2A visa program for nonimmigrant agricultural workers;
  • Produce an interim report detailing the program’s shortcomings and the impacts on food security, and;

File a final report with recommendations to address the flaws within the program.

“A robust agriculture industry starts with a strong and healthy workforce. However, due to a labor shortage, American farmers are increasingly turning to overseas workers to fill positions on the farm. Unfortunately, this is not an easy process because our visa policies and regulations have become convoluted and burdensome. Reforms are desperately needed to address this pressing issue. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find commonsense solutions that help our farmers and producers better staff the farm to help feed and clothe the world,” said Rep. Crawford.

“I hear from farmers and producers daily about their need for more workers to ensure they can grow the food that feeds all of us. I look forward to working with my fellow Co-Chair, Representative Rick Crawford, and the other Members of the Agriculture Labor Working Group to come together and craft bipartisan solutions to the labor issues that farmers and producers face. I thank Chairman Thompson and Ranking Member Scott for appointing me to serve as one of the Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Agriculture Labor Working Group,” said Rep. Davis.

The final report of the working group will provide a suite of potential solutions that can inform and be utilized in subsequent legislative efforts.

The list of Agricultural Labor Working Group Membership:
Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01)
Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05)
Rep. Monica De La Cruz (TX-15)
Rep. Nick Langworthy (NY-23)
Rep. David Rouzer (NC-07)
Rep. Derrick Van Orden (WI-03)

Rep. Don Davis, Co-Chair (NC-01)
Rep. Yadira Caraveo (CO-08)
Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24)
Rep. Jim Costa (CA-21)
Rep. Jasmine Crockett (TX-30)
Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09)
Rep. Gabe Vasquez (NM-02)

Story via House Committee on Agriculture Press Release