state department

State Department Clears the Way for Agriculture Workforce

Dan Cooper Industry News Release, Labor

(AFBF) — The U.S. State Department revised its restrictions on the processing of visa applications submitted by farm workers in Mexico after hearing concerns that the restrictions would lead to a farm worker shortage in the Unites States. Consular officers can now waive the visa interview requirement for eligible first-time and returning H-2A and H-2B applicants, making more workers in the …

Coronavirus Concerns Impacting U.S. Agriculture

Ashley Robinson General, Labor, Top Posts

By Ashley Robinson U.S. agriculture has always had a great responsibility on its shoulders — to keep food on the tables of consumers despite the challenges that come its way. However, the situations facing production agriculture now in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic are weighing heavily on the minds of farmers. “There is a lot of anxiety and concern …

state department

Strawberry Grower Addresses Trade, Labor

Tacy Callies Labor, Top Posts, Trade

Gary Wishnatzki, chief executive officer of Wish Farms, was one of several strawberry growers who met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and two congressmen in Plant City recently. Growers at that meeting said Mexican subsidization of its agricultural industry is a problem, as is the H-2A program, which allows temporary foreign agricultural labor into the United States. Wishnatzki …

uscis

Labor Issues Concern Fruit and Vegetable Growers

Tacy Callies Labor, Top Posts

By Clint Thompson The newly signed United States-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA) raises almost as many questions as it answers with respect to labor costs, according to Greg Fonsah, University of Georgia agribusiness Extension economist. “The H-2A program which is in place is very expensive for the farmers, and that helps to increase the cost of production,” Fonsah said. “The good part …

state department

E-Verify Divides Republican Leaders as Florida Legislative Session Starts

Dan Cooper Florida, Industry News Release, Labor, Legislative

(NSF) — Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push for a politically charged immigration proposal has begun to expose a clash between Republicans as this year’s legislative session starts. The governor kicked off the session Tuesday by reminding lawmakers about one of his top priorities: a proposed mandate for all Florida employers to use the federal government’s E-Verify system to check new hires …

uscis

Large Increases to H-2A Program Application Fees Proposed

Dan Cooper Georgia, Industry News Release, Labor

(GFVGA) — On Nov. 14, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would increase immigration fees charged by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by an average of 21 percent for all applications, while limiting the number of beneficiaries per filing. However, H-2A program users will see significantly larger increases if this proposal were to go into …

FFVA President Discusses Updates on Labor Reform, USMCA

Karla Arboleda Florida, Georgia, Labor, Top Posts, USMCA

By Karla Arboleda Mike Joyner, president of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA), spoke to specialty crop growers about efforts toward labor reform and the current draft of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). LABOR REFORM While meeting with members of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, Joyner talked about the Farm Workforce Modernization Act that was introduced on Oct. 30. …

Congressman Yoho Introduces Ag Guest Worker Bill

Abbey Taylor Labor, Legislative, Top Posts

As labor continues to be a top-priority issue for producers nationwide, Congressman Ted Yoho is aiming to lessen worries of a labor shortage by introducing a new ag guest worker bill. He discussed this new bill in a recent exclusive interview with AgNet Media’s Abbey Taylor. According to Yoho, the bill shies away from immigration and focuses solely on ensuring …