USAgNet.com recently reported that National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) President and CEO Jim Mulhern praised the work of Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) for offering an amendment to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s annual funding bill that would allow farm employers to use the H-2A visa program to hire foreign workers, regardless of whether those employees are engaged in temporary or seasonal work. The amendment was adopted by the House Appropriations Committee with bipartisan support. The NMPF had been working with Newhouse and other leaders to advance the proposal.
“Expanding the scope of the H-2A farm worker visa program is part of the continuing effort of NMPF and its members to find solutions to the labor challenges facing America’s dairy industry,” Mulhern said. “Dairy farmers have cows that need to be milked twice a day, every single day, yet they largely have not been able to utilize the H-2A visa program because of how the U.S. Department of Labor interprets the existing program, which restricts the visas only to the temporary and seasonal labor needs of agricultural employers.”
He added that NMPF and its members “remain committed to a long-term solution to the crisis of farm labor shortages in rural America. We need to maintain our current workforce while creating a sensible, workable means of filling farm jobs in the future. We will continue to work with Congress and the administration toward that end.”