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David Sparks Ph.d H-2A Debate
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: October 29, 2018

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A key debate recently took place between two Congressional candidates in Washington state, Dino Rossi and Dr. Kim Shrier. Listen to Dr. Shrier when the topic of the H-2A program came up. Washington State Tree Fruit Association president, Jon

DeVaney was there …


Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association was in the room, watching the debate at the time.


SHRIER … “The H-2A Visa program does not work well for either the farmers or for the workers and can lead to sort of a pattern of indentured servitude where a worker is essentially held hostage by a potentially abusive farmer.”


DeVaney had plenty of reaction and said those comments seem to be made without preparation or regard for her desired constituency …“We’re used to seeing a lot of overheated rhetoric around immigration. It’s a very sensitive issue in our society at the moment, but to see language that was quite so pejorative about agriculture by one of the candidates running to represent Central Washington. The eighth district includes Kittitas, Chelan and parts of Douglas counties that have a lot of tree fruit production in them was really surprising and disappointing. I would have thought that both candidates would have been fully informed about how that program works and why growers are required to do what they do in using it before making those kinds of comments.”


This is not only about a WA State congressional debate. It’s an example of why the national ag community needs to be on top of the upcoming election.

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