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Support for Farm Workforce Modernization Act Letter

November 18, 2019

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                     The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Speaker                                                                        Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives                                  U.S. House of Representatives
1236 Longworth House Office Building                    2468 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                             Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: The undersigned groups, representing a broad cross-section of agriculture and its allies, urge you to advance the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038) through the House to address the labor crisis facing American agriculture. A stable, legal workforce is needed to ensure farmers and ranchers have the ability to continue producing an abundant, safe, and affordable food supply. The effects of agriculture’s critical shortage of labor reach far beyond the farm gate, negatively impacting our economic competitiveness, local economies, and jobs.  Economists have found that every farm worker engaged in high-value, labor-intensive crop and livestock production sustains two to three off-farm jobs.  As foreign producers take advantage of our labor shortage and gain market share, America will export not only our food production but also thousands of these farm-dependent jobs.  Securing a reliable and skilled workforce is essential, not only for the agricultural industry but for the U.S. economy as a whole. The House must pass legislation that preserves agriculture’s experienced workforce by allowing current farm workers to earn legal status.  For future needs, legislation must include an agricultural worker visa program that provides access to a legal and reliable workforce moving forward.  This visa program needs to be more accessible, predictable, and flexible to meet the needs of producers, including those with year-round labor needs, such as dairy and livestock which currently do not have meaningful access to any program. While the bill does include a few provisions that raise significant concerns for the agricultural community, we are committed to working together throughout the legislative process to fully address these issues. It is vital to move the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038) through the House as a significant step in working to meet the labor needs of agriculture, both now and in the future. Sincerely,

African-American Farmers of California
AgCountry Farm Credit Services
AgriBank FCB
Agribusiness Henderson County (AgHC)
Agricultural Council of California
Agri-Mark, Inc.
Alabama Farmers Cooperative
Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association
Almond Alliance of California
Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC
American AgCredit
American Agri-Women
American Beekeeping Federation
American Mushroom Institute
American Pistachio Growers
American Seed Trade Association
Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association
Arizona Landscape Contractors Association
Arizona Nursery Association
Arkansas Rice Growers Association
Associated Milk Producers Inc.
Association of Virginia Potato and Vegetable Growers
Aurora Organic Dairy
AZ Farm & Ranch Group
Battlefield Farms, Inc.
Bipartisan Policy Center Action
Bongards’ Creameries
Butte County Farm Bureau
California Ag Irrigation Association
California Alfalfa and Forage Association
California Apple Commission
California Avocado Commission
California Bean Shippers Association
California Blueberry Commission
California Canning Peach Association
California Cherry Growers and Industry Association
California Citrus Mutual
California Dairies, Inc.
California Farm Bureau Federation
California Fig Advisory Board
California Fresh Fruit Association
California Grain and Feed Association
California League of Food Producers
California Pear Growers
California Prune Board
California Seed Association
California State Beekeepers Association
California State Floral Association
California Sweet Potato Council
California Tomato Growers Association
California Walnut Commission
California Warehouse Association
California Wheat Growers Association
California Women for Agriculture
Cayuga Milk Ingredients
Central Valley Ag
Cherry Marketing Institute
Clif Bar & Company
Colorado Dairy Farmers
Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association
Colorado Potato Legislative Association
Compeer Financial
Cooperative Milk Producers Association
Cooperative Network
Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.
Dairy Producers of New Mexico
Dairy Producers of Utah
Del Mar Food Products, Corp.
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative
Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery
Empire State Potato Growers
Far West Agribusiness Association
Farm Credit East
Farm Credit Illinois
Farm Credit Services of America
Farm Credit West
FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative
First District Association
Florida Agri-Women
Florida Blueberry Growers Association
Florida Citrus Mutual
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
Florida Nursery, Growers, and Landscape Association
Florida Strawberry Growers Association
Florida Tomato Exchange
Food Northwest
Food Producers of Idaho
Foremost Farms USA
Fresno County Farm Bureau
Frontier Farm Credit
Fruit Growers Marketing Association
Fruit Growers Supply
Georgia Green Industry Association
Glanbia Nutritionals
Grapeman Farms
GreenStone Farm Credit Services
Grower-Shipper Association of Central California
Gulf Citrus Growers Association
Hop Growers of Washington
Idaho Alfalfa & Clover Seed Commission
Idaho Alfalfa & Clover Seed Growers Association
Idaho Apple Commission
Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry
Idaho Association of Highway Districts
Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts
Idaho Bankers Association
Idaho Cattleman’s Association
Idaho Chamber Alliance
Idaho Dairymen’s Association
Idaho Eastern Oregon Seed Association
Idaho Grain Producers Association
Idaho Grower Shipper Association
Idaho Hop Growers
Idaho Milk Products
Idaho Mint Growers Association
Idaho Noxious Weed Control Association
Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association
Idaho Onion Growers Association
Idaho Potato Commission
Idaho State Grange
Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association
Idaho Water Users Association
Idaho Wool Growers
Idahoan Foods LLC
Idaho-Oregon Fruit and Vegetable Association
Illinois Green Industry Association
International Dairy Food Association
Iowa Institute for Cooperatives
Iowa State Dairy Association
J.R. Simplot Company
Kansas Cooperative Council
Kansas Dairy Association
Kanza Cooperative Associaton
Kings County Farm Bureau
Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Lone Star Milk Producers
Madera County Farm Bureau
Maine Landscape and Nursery Association
Maine Potato Board
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association
Maryland Nursery, Landscape, & Greenhouse Association
Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc.
MBG Marketing
Mendocino County Farm Bureau
Merced County Farm Bureau
Michigan Agri-Business Association
Michigan Apple Association
Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board
Michigan Bean Shippers
Michigan Cider Association
Michigan Greenhouse Grower Council
Michigan Milk Producers Association
Michigan Nursery & Landscape Association
Michigan State Horticultural Society
Midwest Dairy Coalition
Mid-West Dairymen’s Company
Milk Producers Council
Milk Producers of Idaho
Minnesota Area II Potato Council
Minnesota Milk Producers Association
Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association
Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council
Montana Nursery & Landscape Association
Monterey County (CA) Farm Bureau
Mount Joy Farmers Cooperative Association
Napa County Farm Bureau
National All-Jersey
National Association of Produce Market Managers
National Council of Agricultural Employers
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Farmers Union
National Grange
National Immigration Forum
National Milk Producers Federation
National Onion Association
National Potato Council
National Watermelon Association
Nebraska State Dairy Association
New American Economy
New England Apple Council
New England Farmers Union
New York Apple Association
New York Farm Bureau Federation
New York State Berry Growers Association
New York State Flower Industries
New York State Vegetable Growers Association
Nezperce Prairie Grass Growers Association
Nisei Farmers League
North American Blueberry Council
North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association
North Carolina Potato Association
Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives
Northeast Dairy Foods Association, Inc.
Northeast Dairy Producers Association
Northern Plains Potato Growers Association
Northern Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association
Northwest Ag Co-op Council
Northwest Dairy Association/Darigold
Northwest Farm Credit Services
Northwest Horticultural Council
Ohio Apple Marketing Program
Ohio Dairy Producers Association
Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association
Olive Growers Council of California
Oneida-Madison Milk Producers Cooperative Association
Orange County Farm Bureau
Oregon Association of Nurseries
Oregon Dairy Farmers Association
Oregon Potato Commission
Pacific Coast Producers
Pacific Egg and Poultry Association
Pacific Seed Association
Pennsylvania Co-operative Potato Growers
Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association
Plant California Alliance
POM Wonderful
Porterville Citrus
Potato Growers of America
Potato Growers of Idaho
Potato Growers of Michigan
Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.
Premier Milk Inc.
Produce Marketing Association
Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania
RBI Packing LLC
Reiter Affiliated Companies
Richard Bagdasarian, Inc.
Riverside County Farm Bureau
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
San Diego County Farm Bureau
San Mateo County Farm Bureau
Santa Clara County Farm Bureau
Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau
Scioto Cooperative Milk Producers’ Association
Select Milk Producers, Inc.
Seneca Foods Corporation
Sierra Citrus Association
Snake River Sugar Company
Solano County Farm Bureau
Sonoma County Farm Bureau
South Dakota Association of Cooperatives
South Dakota Dairy Producers
South East Dairy Farmers Association
Southeast Milk Inc.
Southern States Cooperative
St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Inc.
Stanislaus County Farm Bureau
State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania
Summer Prize Frozen Foods.
Sunkist Growers
Sun-Maid Growers of California
Sunsweet Growers, Inc.
Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association
Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council
Texas Association of Dairymen
Texas Citrus Mutual
Texas International Produce Association
Texas Nursery & Landscape Association
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
The SF Market and San Francisco Produce Association
Tillamook County Creamery Association
Tree Top, Inc.
Tulare County Farm Bureau
U.S. Apple Association
U.S. Rice Producers Association
United Ag
United Dairymen of Arizona
United Egg Producers
United Fresh Produce Association
United Onions, USA
United Potato Growers of America
Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.
Utah Farmers Union
Utah Horticulture Society
Valley Fig Growers
Ventura County Agricultural Association
Ventura Pacific
Vermont Dairy Producers Alliance
Virginia Apple Growers Association
Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association
Virginia State Dairymen’s Association
Visalia Citrus Packing Group, Inc.
WA Wine Institute
Washington Growers League
Washington State Dairy Federation
Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association
Washington State Potato Commission
Washington State Tree Fruit Association
Wawona Frozen Foods
West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association
Western Growers Association
Western States Dairy Producers Association
Western United Dairies
Wine Institute
Wisconsin Dairy Business Association
Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association
Wonderful Citrus
Wonderful Orchards
Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association

cc: U.S. House of Representatives
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