Statement by Jim Bair,
President & CEO
U.S. Apple Association
Re: Farm Workforce Modernization Act
Nov. 21, 2019
“The U.S. Apple Association applauds Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and the House Judiciary Committee for advancing the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. This meaningful agriculture labor reform will greatly benefit the U.S. apple industry, which is why we joined more than 300 agricultural organizations in support of the bill. The legislation is bipartisan with nearly 50 cosponsors equally divided between Republicans and Democrats.
“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act will stabilize the current agricultural workforce by creating a process for them to gain work authorization to continue working in agriculture. The bill also brings needed modernization and cost containment to the H-2A agricultural guestworker program.
“Each year growers coast to coast face uncertainty as to whether there will be sufficient labor to harvest the crop. The current system causes an unstable situation for not only apple growers, but for all farmers who depend on immigrant labor to bring Americans healthy and affordable food. A stable, legal and reliable workforce is critical if we are to continue to have a vibrant domestic apple supply.
“Time is of the essence and our growers cannot wait another harvest season for relief. We urge Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to schedule a vote by the full House of Representatives this calendar year.”