AmericanHort Applauds Passage of Bill Modernizing Agricultural Labor Program
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Posted by: Terri Brown
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2019
Director of Advocacy & Policy Communications
AmericanHort Applauds Passage of Bill Modernizing Agricultural Labor Programs
Farm Workforce Modernization Act Passes House 260 to 165
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AmericanHort released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, with bipartisan support.
“For years, our growers have struggled with a broken immigration and agricultural visa system that harms their ability to succeed and sustain their farms and businesses in today’s marketplace. In view of the huge contributions the horticulture industry makes to local and national economies, action here couldn’t be more welcome,” said Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge. “This is the first time in over 30 years that the House has acted affirmatively to address the agricultural labor issue. We extend our deepest appreciation to the House lawmakers who saw through the politics and remained committed to addressing this problem in earnest. We thank the bill negotiators with whom we worked to get to this day, and to all who voted to pass this bill. We encourage the Senate to quickly take up this issue and work on a bipartisan basis to advance agricultural labor reform legislation in that chamber. Growers and producers across the nation want to keep farming labor-intensive crops here in America, and labor solutions are urgently needed.”
Background: Labor challenges are the single-biggest constraint on the stability, success, and growth potential of nursery and greenhouse growers across the U.S. This bill addresses the challenge with solutions that stabilize the current agricultural and horticultural workforce, improve the legal channels for future seasonal and permanent workers in the farming sector, and advance integrity in the hiring process. As a member of the agriculture industry’s negotiating team, AmericanHort supports this legislation as a necessary step forward toward addressing these challenges.
Green industry businesses perform better, grow faster and prepare for the future as a member of AmericanHort, the green industry’s leading association. With a rich history of serving horticultural professionals, AmericanHort supports nearly 14,000 member and affiliated businesses that include breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and all of those who are part of the industry market chain. The horticulture industry's production, wholesale, retail, and landscape service components have annual sales of $196 billion, and sustain over 1.6 million full- and part-time jobs.
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