Jun 17, 2021
Produce leaders, senators meet with Vilsack to discuss ag labor reform

The U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted a roundtable discussion June 16 to discuss moving forward on agriculture labor reform.

The meeting included Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) — who are leading Senate efforts on ag labor reform — as well as produce industry leaders, including National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles.

Quarles offered this report:

“This morning’s meeting with Secretary Vilsack, Senator Bennet, and Senator Crapo on agricultural labor reform was very positive. During the roundtable, the industry partners committed to working with them in supporting a bill in the Senate that will secure a bipartisan 60-vote majority. We must act immediately as the current broken system means higher costs for family farms, more uncertainty for essential farm workers, and a less secure immigration system for all Americans. The House took a strong bipartisan step toward solving that crisis and we urge the Senate to assist Senator Bennet and Senator Crapo in building on that success with their improvements this summer.”

United Fresh Produce Association President & CEO Tom Stenzel and Western Growers President & CEO Dave Puglia also participated in the roundtable discussion.

RELATED: Farmworker labor bill passes in House, attention turns to Senate

Top photo: National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles, far left, speaks during the June 16 roundtable discussion on ag labor reform. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is seated at the head of the table. Photo: NPC

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