Plea for Help: Ag Groups Send Letter to Senate Leaders, Want Ag Labor Reform

Clint Thompson Labor, Top Posts

Close to 300 agricultural groups, including some in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, were part of an Agriculture Workforce Coalition that sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell this week, urging the passing of an agriculture labor reform bill. The letter outlined multiple challenges facing farmers. But the domestic labor shortage remains near …

Florida Producer: All We’re Doing is Killing the Economy of Our Country

Clint Thompson Labor, Top Posts

Labor Shortage a Reason for Lack of Supplies, Specifically Pallets By Clint Thompson Like most vegetable and specialty crop producers, blueberry farmer Ryan Atwood is an avid user of pallets. Over the course of his season in Florida, Atwood will use more than 14,000 pallets. Like every other grower in the Southeast, Atwood was impacted by the ongoing pallet shortage …

Florida Strawberry Farmer: H-2A Program Needs to be Simplified

Clint Thompson Labor, Top Posts

Farmers agree: H-2A is needed but it can be improved. Foreign workers are needed because of the lack of a domestic workforce. It needs improvement because it is a cumbersome and very expensive process. “It needs to be simplified. It is just the hardest, most complicated thing to do and to stay legal,” said Matt Parke, farm manager of Parkesdale …

Safety Training Program Protects Ag Workers During the Pandemic

Ashley Robinson Coronavirus, Food Safety, Labor, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Kimberly L. Morgan Throughout the food supply chain, producers, processors, distributors, wholesalers and retailers seek economies of scale and scope to improve profit margins, while delivering safe, consistent, reliable and relatively low-cost foods to consumers. At the farm level, owners make decisions to minimize production and harvesting costs, relying on human resources and scientific advances to address the dynamic …

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 …