Iowa Public Television


Farm Groups To Renew Push For Stable Work Force

posted on December 7, 2012

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - Farm groups say they will renew their push in the coming weeks for immigration reform that includes a stable agricultural workforce.

Jon Wyss handles labor issues for Gebbers Farms, a large grower in the north-central Washington town of Brewster. He told Washington tree fruit growers Tuesday that farm groups will have a new proposal for Congress as it considers immigration reform.

The proposal includes reducing the requirements for growers to recruit workers and moving a federal guest-worker program from the Labor Department to the Agriculture Department.

Farmers have long argued that the current program is too cumbersome and expensive to be of any real help.

Nancy Foster of the U.S. Apple Association says that if growers can't prune, pick, pack and process their fruit, little else matters.

Tags: Department of Agriculture farmworkers imigrants