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December 11, 2019

Western Growers Statement on House Passage of Farm Workforce Modernization Act

IRVINE, Calif. (December 11, 2019) – In response to passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act by the U.S. House of Representatives, Western Growers President & CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:

“With today’s passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act by the U.S. House of Representatives, another hurdle in the race to save America’s family farms has been cleared. Western Growers is grateful for the leadership exhibited by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Congressman Dan Newhouse, and the statesmanship demonstrated by the bipartisan group of legislators who sponsored and voted for the bill.

“But the race is far from over. Both the Senate and President Trump must be willing to take the political stand that is required to ensure the continued production of an abundant, safe and affordable domestic food supply. Our farmers are depending on the present actions of Congress and the Administration to make possible the future viability of the agriculture industry. 

“Agriculture has made its case for a narrow, surgical fix to the farm labor crisis. The rationale, that foreign hands will harvest our fruits and vegetables and perform many of the other skilled jobs required on American farms, has long been accepted on both sides of the aisle. The substance, maintaining the existing, experienced workforce while reforming the H-2A program for future workers, has been carefully crafted with the input and approval of virtually every key stakeholder. All that remains now is for the Senate and President Trump to act.

“Granted, the bill is not perfect. No piece of legislation ever is. However, the need to secure an adequate, reliable and skilled workforce for U.S. agriculture cannot be overstated. The farm labor crisis is real and crippling, and the demand to provide a workable legislative solution is immediate and critical, which is why we urge the Senate and President Trump to engage in the legislative process to improve the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, adding those amendments that are necessary to secure the mutual support of Congress and the Administration.”

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Our members and their workers provide half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including half of America’s fresh organic produce. For generations we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook