Ag Labor Forum Focus: Fight For Your Farm

Lochridge_Lisa2012

A capacity crowd of agricultural employers gathered in mid-
September for the annual Agricultural Labor Relations Forum in Orlando to get industry updates and labor relations advice from experts. Presented by the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation, the gathering is in its 39th year. It presents workshops designed to help employers understand the myriad laws and regulations governing the agricultural workforce.

Forum participants packed meeting rooms — an indication that employers understand the vital importance of staying on top of the latest on the labor front. Topics ranged from broad overviews on issues like immigration, to detailed information on complying with government regulations such as wage and hour regulations, discrimination, and workers’ compensation.

Keynote speaker and labor attorney Monte Lake kicked off the forum with a report on where immigration legislation stands. Despite agriculture’s efforts during Congress’ August recess urging House members to pass comprehensive immigration legislation, the issue was overshadowed by the situation in Syria and questions over the debt ceiling.

Plenty Of Pain, Much To Gain

Breakout sessions included a presentation by representatives of the Department of Labor on enforcement priorities of its Wage and Hour Division, an overview of the new I-9 Form, a primer on government audits of employers, a panel discussion on workers’ compensation, a detailed look at how to navigate the H-2A guestworker visa program, and a forecast of what’s ahead for ag employers related to health care reform.

State Rep. Ben Albritton of District 56 pulled no punches in his keynote address, pressing the attendees to get involved and engaged in the legislative process. Fewer and fewer lawmakers have direct connections to agriculture, so it’s more important than ever for the grower community to be heard. He applauded agriculture associations who work with lawmakers on behalf of the industry, but added those efforts alone aren’t enough. It takes involvement by individuals to truly make a difference, he said. “I understand life is busy, but we need you more engaged,” he said. He urged the audience to be authentic and to listen when interacting with their elected representatives. “Just be you,” he said. “Be authentic. Otherwise, people will turn the switch off.” The key to that authenticity, he said, is to know why you do what you do every day, and to be able to articulate that.
“It’s imperative that you get plugged in,” he said. Lawmakers “need to know you exist.” And apparently, many in the industry need to know who is representing them. When Albritton asked for a show of hands of those who knew who their state representative is, only a fraction of folks indicated they did. He urged attendees to take a few minutes to pick up the phone and call their representative or write a note. “Be on the radar,” he said. “This industry needs it. I need it.”

Meet FFVA’s New Class Of Emerging Leaders

FFVA introduced the third class of its Emerging Leader Development Program at the recent 70th Annual Convention in Amelia Island. The new class members are Cathy Atchley of On Point Ag, Ryan Atwood of Keyplex, Elton Baldy of Bayer CropScience, Daniel Cavazos of Veg Pro International, Sam Glucksman of Glades Crop Care, Jeff Goodale of Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Jamie Lang of Farm Credit of Central Florida, Arby Lipman of Lipman Produce, Clayton Norman of DuPont Crop Protection, Geoff Roe of Wm. G. Roe & Sons, Matt Stacey of Crop Production Services, and Jordan Theis of Prudential Ag Investments.

The program develops leaders who are prepared with a depth of knowledge of the many issues facing agriculture. It provides them with the education and tools to become strong, effective advocates for Florida specialty crop agriculture. The program also strengthens grassroots engagement in FFVA and other industry organizations.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories
Port Tampa Bay shipping channel
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Panama Canal Expansion To Bring Trade Opportunities To Florida
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says a confluence of events is putting the state's producers in a good spot to open new markets. Read More
anti-GMO corn spoof via social media
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Social Media Posts On GMOs Falling Flat [Opinion]
Hopefully, the hysteria the West has perpetuated on genetic engineering will not stifle the potential of moving our production forward enough to help feed a growing global population. Read More
non-gmo label leafy greens
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Report Says GMOs Offer No Risk To Human Health
The study stresses the need for proper resistance management, the need for a different ways to evaluate all new crop varieties, regardless of process in which they were developed. Read More
Florida Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam checks out prepared school lunches. School meals are looking more colorful these days as fresh produce finds a place on the tray.
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Full-Time Effort Required To Feed Farm-To-School Programs
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam gives a shout-out to those providing fuel to kids during the school year as well as the summer months. Read More
Photo credit: USDA
Citrus
May 23, 2016
World Health Organization Experts: Glyphosate Not Carcinogenic
Risk unlikely when consuming crops treated with herbicide. Read More
Food safety meeting for growers in Florida
Citrus
May 23, 2016
Florida Growers Putting Food Safety On Front Burner
Specialty crop industry stakeholders hungry to understand what’s ahead as FDA begins implementing new food safety rules. Read More
Participants of a Citrus Health Roundtable hosted by Yara International pose for a post-event photo.
Insect & Disease Update
May 20, 2016
Yara International Pledges $100,000 To Support Florida Agriculture Students
Scholarship will fund University of Florida undergraduate and graduate students. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Says Bayer Bid ‘Financially Ina…
Proposal cited as undervalued, not able to address financial, regulatory risks. Read More
Citrus
May 25, 2016
NRCS Invests $4.3 Million To Combat Clim…
The Natural Resources Conservation Service in California is committing funds to help farmers and ranchers mitigate the effects of climate change and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Panama Canal Expansion To Bring Trade Op…
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says a confluence of events is putting the state's producers in a good spot to open new markets. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Social Media Posts On GMOs Falling Flat …
Hopefully, the hysteria the West has perpetuated on genetic engineering will not stifle the potential of moving our production forward enough to help feed a growing global population. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Report Says GMOs Offer No Risk To Human …
The study stresses the need for proper resistance management, the need for a different ways to evaluate all new crop varieties, regardless of process in which they were developed. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Full-Time Effort Required To Feed Farm-T…
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam gives a shout-out to those providing fuel to kids during the school year as well as the summer months. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2016
World Health Organization Experts: Glyph…
Risk unlikely when consuming crops treated with herbicide. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2016
Florida Growers Putting Food Safety On F…
Specialty crop industry stakeholders hungry to understand what’s ahead as FDA begins implementing new food safety rules. Read More
Citrus
May 20, 2016
Florida Farmland Becoming Big Deal For I…
Real estate values in the Sunshine State dictated by money looking for a home. Read More
Citrus
May 19, 2016
Bayer Makes Bid For Monsanto
Monsanto says proposal is being reviewed by board of directors as well as legal and financial advisors. Read More
Citrus
May 17, 2016
$130 Million In Funds For Fruit And Vege…
USDA allocates funds for Extension, organic production, food safety, and technology grants. Read More
Citrus
May 17, 2016
Border Protection Intercepts New Leafhop…
First of its kind found in European shipment. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2016
3 New Herbicides For Florida Farmers To …
Trio of unique crop protection chemistries beckoning growers to whack weeds with these. Read More
Citrus
May 10, 2016
California Citrus Industry Leaders Slam …
Proposal “defies logic,” because growers are already worried about being ravaged by citrus greening, says California Citrus Mutual. Read More
Citrus
May 10, 2016
Winning Streak Continues For Florida Ora…
Updated crop estimate from USDA reveals uptick for third month in a row. Read More
Citrus
May 10, 2016
Survey: Beekeepers Lost 44% Of Bees Last…
Responses indicate summer losses rival winter losses for second year in a row. Read More
Citrus
May 4, 2016
$6 Million Available For Antimicrobial R…
Program to develop strategies to reduce public health risks in food chain. Read More
Citrus
May 3, 2016
New Program Targets Abandoned California…
Bayer and California Citrus Mutual have teamed up to help protect the state’s commercial citrus industry from deadly citrus greening. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]