Apr 25, 2016
Farm Bureau, NASDA call for faster H-2A processing

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) joined forces with the American Farm Bureau Federation to call on the federal government to alleviate H-2A processing delays.

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, NASDA said in a news release.

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Michigan Director of Agriculture Jamie Clover Adams joined producers to highlight the need for enhanced coordination.

Producers are encountering serious bureaucratic delays getting labor to harvest their crops,”” Black said. “”Without a solution, farmers are facing a crisis and will be left with crops rotting in their fields. Farmers and ranchers across the country will endure serious economic hardship and consumers will see increased costs at grocery stores.””

Clover Adams said “”the H-2A program has seen an 85% increase in requests over the last five years with little additional resources allocated. The department needs to prioritize their resources to address this backlog.””

“The Departments of Labor, State and Homeland Security need to better coordinate resources and communication to alleviate these delays and inform growers when their labor is coming. Further, USDA needs to be consulted and help these agencies understand the seasonal nature of American agriculture,” Clover Adams said.

NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders.


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