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Maura Bennett Stable Farm Workforce Still Needed
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: October 18, 2017

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Without access to an adequate and stable workforce, many farmers are being forced to leave fresh produce to rot in the fields.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says that farmers and ranchers across the country are calling for long-overdue reform to the current guest worker visa program that would create flexibility and provide stability in the agricultural workforce.

Colorado Senator Michael Bennett expressed frustration with the slow process to fix the current guest worker visa program in a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing early this year.

“Our farmers in Colorado counties continue to lack a stable qualified workforce. Last week, I heard from a friend of mine who said he had to disc up his cabbage because he’s got nobody to harvest it. He doesn’t have the workforce he needs.”

Farmers tell the Federation they need more options with the guest worker visa program. A Washington state farmer said there is an availability of foreign workers ready to come work in agriculture, but the current system does not give farmers or workers the flexibility needed to fill farm jobs.

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