Dec 11, 2019
Britt Raybould, Idaho state rep and NPC member, urges passage of farm labor act

Britt Raybould, of potato producer Raybould Brothers Farm and a member of the Idaho House of Representatives, is urging passage Farm Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA) bill.

Britt Raybould of Raybould Brothers Farm and the National Potato Council.

Raybould did so through a guest editorial column for the Idaho State Register. While Raybould said the FWMA bill isn’t perfect, it is an improvement over the current H-2A guest worker program.

“The bureaucratic red tape only increased in recent years as more agricultural employers turned to H2-A to fill the gap. Some folks are just out of luck, like our dairymen, because year-round agricultural labor isn’t available under the existing system. Knowing that agriculture represents a cornerstone of our state’s economy, (U.S.) Rep. Mike Simpson has worked for years to update the H2-A program,” Raybould said.

“This week, those efforts will be put to the test as his bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act heads to the House floor for a vote. The bill isn’t perfect. It does address flaws in the current system and improves the reliability of the H2-A program for seasonal workers while creating a new, capped program for year-round agricultural labor. The latter will be critical for Idaho’s dairies. It also addresses security concerns with mandatory background checks and implements a merit-based system.”

Raybould’s full column can be found here.

In addition to her role as chief financial officer at Raybould Brothers Farm, Britt Raybould was elected in 2018 to serve in the Idaho House as a representative for District 34, which includes all of Madison County and a portion of Bonneville County in Eastern Idaho.

She also serves on the National Potato Council’s executive committee, currently as the first vice president of legislative and government affairs. Raybould is in line to become NPC president in January, which would make her the first woman to hold the position.

More information on the FWMA bill (H.R. 5038) can be found here.

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