September 29, 2023

USDA Launches New H-2A Grant Program

The USDA Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program (FLSP) will award up to $65 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to provide support for agricultural employers in implementing robust labor standards to promote a safe, healthy work environment for both U.S. workers and workers hired from northern Central American countries under the H-2A visa program. The program is funded by the Farm Service Agency and will be administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Farm Production and Conservation Business Center. The 2023 FLSP grant application period closes November 28, 2023.

The FLSP Program is designed as an incentive-based program to assist producers in recruiting and retaining workers while ensuring acceptable working conditions. The grants, ranging from $25,000 to $2 million depending on the number of H-2A workers certified and commitments, can be used for various purposes, including overtime pay, bonus pay, sick leave, housing improvements, and measures to enhance worker health and safety.

A significant aspect of the FLSP Program is its commitment to facilitating lawful migration pathways.

The program may help defray the additional costs of transporting workers from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, with the intent of fostering a safer and more organized migration process for individuals from those countries.

The 24-month grant window allows employers to utilize the funds over two production seasons. USDA aims to expedite determinations to enable timely implementation for the next growing season.

The purpose of the FLSP program is to improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency by addressing challenges agricultural employers face with labor shortages and instability. The FLSP Program seeks to advance the following Administration priorities:

  • Goal 1: Drive U.S. economic recovery and safeguard domestic food supply by addressing current labor shortages in agriculture;
  • Goal 2: Reduce irregular migration from Northern Central America through the expansion of regular pathways; and
  • Goal 3: Improve working conditions for all farmworkers.

For more information about the FLSP program or the H-2A program in general, please contact Jason Resnick