The Farm Foundation Forum held a panel discussion today to address food and agriculture issues likely to be faced by the next administration. Ken Barbic, senior director of federal government affairs, participated in the event and focused on labor issues.

In his remarks, Barbic outlined the need for immigration reform and the industry’s policy priorities, including legal status for existing workers and a new market-orientated visa program to replace the bureaucratic, costly and challenged H-2A program. 

Jeff Janas

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a tie decision that keeps in place a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit blocking the Administration’s efforts to grant millions of undocumented persons reprieve from deportation. The 4-4 decision upholds a lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 other states that sued to block President Obama’s Executive Action granting the reprieve.

Western Growers President & CEO Tom Nassif was published in this morning’s edition of the Wall Street Journal.

In his op-ed titled, “Why Governors Need an Immigration Plan,” Nassif introduces a novel plan for achieving real movement on immigration reform: “Who can break the gridlock and establish genuine bipartisan consensus?

Who can get Congress to finally embrace a reasonable and defensible compromise on immigration? I believe the time has come to look to current and former state governors as potential arbiters of this crisis.”

Jeff Janas



Immigration has been a critical issue for Western Growers members. For years, we have fought for a legal and stable workforce that not only supports our industry but ensures those who have worked along side our members are treated with decency and respect.

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Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live. 

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