Farmworker Safety During Unprecedented Times

Ashley Robinson Agri-business, General, Labor, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Amy Wolfe While the country finds itself navigating unprecedented circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, growers across the Southeast have continued forging ahead in producing the safest possible food supply. That work has included a variety of challenges, including how best to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the farm while considering the safety, health and well-being of the agricultural …

Mexican Imports Still a Concern for American Farmers

Clint Thompson Fruit, Labor, Produce, Top Posts, Trade, Vegetables

By Clint Thompson Mexican imports of produce into the United States continues to be a problem for American farmers. They especially felt the sting this year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Southeast growers had to overcome a declining market when restaurants and schools closed in March for fears of COVID-19. They also were overshadowed by the constant influx of Mexican …

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 …