10.2 Agricultural Workforce
(Updated September 2016)
Farmers and ranchers need a framework that provides for a legal, reliable workforce that supports the industry and treats workers with respect. American agriculture faces a critical shortage of labor that harms annual harvests, animal agriculture production and processing facilities. This damages American competitiveness and overall food security. NASDA supports border control and border security measures in conjunction with meaningful federal, Congressional reform as a means toward a legal and stable workforce.
- NASDA believes both the current H-2A visa for temporary agriculture workers and the H-2B visa for temporary non-agricultural workers are unworkable.
- NASDA supports reforms to temporary agriculture worker programs and recommends the following principles:
- An “at-will” visa where employees do not have contractual commitments and can move between employers as seasons and labor demands change.
- A contract visa where employees commit to working for an employer for a fixed period of time when stability is preferred between both parties.
- NASDA supports a process where experienced, but unauthorized, agricultural workers who currently reside in the U.S. can obtain legal status.
- NASDA supports labor policy that protects employers of non-U.S. citizens when those employers make reasonable efforts to document labor status.