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Dec-11-2019 16:29printcomments

Rep. Schrader Votes for Bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act

"This legislation is good for workers, good for farmers, and good for Oregon"-Rep Schrader

Oregon farm
Oregon farms include plenty of hard labor and 24/7 maintenance.
Photo by Bonnie King

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) voted today in the House of Representatives for the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act.

This bill will fill year-round labor needs for America’s farms, streamline the H-2A program and offer earned legalization for certified agricultural workers.

“The bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act is the product of a tremendous collaborative effort that represents first real breakthrough on America’s farm labor crisis in over six years.

"American agriculture is facing a labor crisis. A stable and legal workforce is desperately needed to ensure our nation’s farmers can continue to produce the best food and fiber in the world,” said Rep. Schrader.

“This bill reforms the H2A program by reducing costs and bureaucracy for employers, improving working conditions and safeguards for farmworkers, and advances the legalization of our nation’s farmworkers and their families. This legislation is good for workers, good for farmers, and good for Oregon.”

“The Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, the trade association representing Oregon’s dairy farmers since 1892, enthusiastically embraces the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and applauds the efforts of this Congress to address these complex issues,” said the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association.

“This bill provides the framework for a much-needed workforce. A reliable and available workforce is imperative to every dairy regardless of number of cows in the milking herd.

"Every one of Oregon’s 200+ multi-generational dairies works every day of the year to care for their cows and the environment.”

"The nursery and greenhouse industry is facing a labor crisis, and Congress has failed repeatedly to solve the immigration issue,” said Executive Director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, Jeff Stone.

“As Oregon's largest sector of agriculture, the nursery and greenhouse industry support many aspects of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, and we urge passage of the bill."

"More than one million immigrant farm workers who perform one of the toughest jobs producing our food will be relieved of their pervasive fear and have the opportunity to freely work, travel, rejoin loved ones, and live without uncertainty," said Reyna Lopez, President of Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Treeplanters and Farmworkers of the Northwest)

"Children of undocumented farm workers will no longer have to worry whether their moms and dads are coming home from work. Workers will return to join loved ones in their home countries for funerals and weddings, and other vital family reunions.

"We look forward to passing this legislation that honors the professional agricultural workers who feed all of America and much of the world."

Congressman Schrader is an original cosponsor of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and spoke on the House floor in support of this legislation. More information about the Farm Workforce Modernization Act can be found here.

Source: Office of Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05)


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