Showing posts with label migrant labor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label migrant labor. Show all posts

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Donald Trump's agriculture advisor in Georgia expresses concerns about farm labor

Gary Black, Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture and a member of Donald Trump's agriculture policy advisory council, expressed his concern about farm labor issues and their effect on Georgia’s farmers during a listening session that included representatives from the offices of Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson.


In a news release after the meeting, he is quoted as saying, “We are talking today about what we need to do now to ensure our farmers have the labor they need in the spring,” said Commissioner Black.

The release goes on to say:

During the meeting Georgia farmers Drew Echols, Russ Goodman and Chris McCorkle relayed the many challenges they faced this year while attempting to use the federal H-2A program. The H-2A program is a critically important tool for America’s farmers and ranchers who need timely, legal and dependable workers to harvest valuable crops which are seasonal in nature.

“There is no debate on the fact that the H-2A program is our best option for harvesting our crops. We just hope to work with the Department of Labor to find ways to strengthen that program in the future,” said blueberry farmer Russ Goodman. “It is very important that they understand that we have a time-sensitive commodity and any amount of delay can have a huge impact on our bottom line.”

The listening session highlighted the need for enhanced coordination to eliminate processing delays within the H-2A program. During the 2016 spring harvest, Georgia farmers faced millions of dollars in crop losses as the Department of Labor struggled to process an increased number of applications for foreign migrant labor.

“We are not here to point fingers, but instead to have a proactive and constructive conversation on how to avoid the missteps from last year and safeguard against it ever happening again,” Black said.

The news release does not mention Donald Trump or his views on immigration policy.