Agriculture Workforce Coalition Created

Agriculture Workforce Coalition logo

Numerous organizations representing a historically broad cross-section of agricultural employers announced the formation of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC). In coming together through this coalition, the agriculture community is able to speak with a unified voice in seeking legislation to provide our producers a stable and skilled workforce.

The founding members of the AWC include: American Farm Bureau Federation, United Fresh Produce Association, American Nursery & Landscape Association, USA Farmers, Western Growers, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, National Council of Agricultural Employers, U.S. Apple Association, and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

The coalition has developed principles that can provide a framework in meeting both the current and future employment needs of agriculture, including both those employers with seasonal labor needs and those who provide year-round employment opportunities. Further, the AWC proposes reform that includes both an agricultural worker program to provide access to a legal workforce into the future and an adjustment for current experienced unauthorized agricultural workers.

The coalition will work to ensure that agricultural labor needs are addressed in any immigration reform package considered by the 113th Congress. While the timing of such action is not yet clear, it is expected that Congress and the president will place a renewed emphasis in the coming weeks on immigration reform legislation.

“Having a stable and viable workforce has never been more critical for our nation’s fruit and vegetable industry, and we must continue to fervently educate lawmakers about agriculture’s crucial labor needs,” said Tom Stenzel, president & CEO of United Fresh. “At this critical time, the AWC brings together the nation’s leading agriculture organizations, delivering our messages with a strong, unified voice, to work with Congress for forging a landmark farm labor solution.”

Western Growers President and CEO, Tom Nassif, who for more than a decade has been a leader in the effort for agricultural immigration reform, said, “We have an unprecedented opportunity now that Democrats and Republicans are having a serious conversation about the critical need for immigration reform—an opportunity that cannot be wasted. Agricultural employers have come together as never before in lock-step and agreement about a workable proposal that will serve the needs of farmers, workers and the American people. The time for immigration reform is now.”

The fresh produce industry relies on a skilled workforce to grow, harvest, and pack the nation’s healthiest foods. “In labor intensive agriculture, our employees are the most important asset in our operations,” said Nassif. “These individuals in many cases are like family. If the United States is to maintain a stable and secure food supply, and our rural communities are to remain economically strong, we must ensure that this workforce has legal status.”

Additional information about the AWC can be found at Agworkforcecoalition.org.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Fruits Stories
Apples & PearsThe Recession That Keeps On Taking
February 27, 2015
We’re still seeing the aftermath of the Great Recession on consumers’ purchasing habits seven years later. Read More
FruitsMaximize Produce Profits By Focusing On Soil Health
February 27, 2015
Cover crops are just one of the ways you can help boost your trees’ and vines’ performance and your bottom line. Read More
FNV logo
CitrusPMA Announces Funding For Major Produce Marketing Program
February 26, 2015
The produce industry is getting into brand marketing in a big way. The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has announced the launch of a new promotional campaign - FNV - designed to take a page from the marketing strategies of big-money consumer brands like Nike and Apple. Read More
GrapesWashington Winegrape Industry Announces Honors
February 26, 2015
Awards included Grower of the Year, Industry Service, Lifetime Achievement, Restaurant of the Year and Posters. Read More
GrapesSonoma Agriculture Preservation Plan Unveiled
February 26, 2015
Winegrowers’ 100-year business plan is the first of its kind in agriculture. Read More
Apples & PearsNew Plant Growth Regulator Use Expanded
February 26, 2015
Ten more states grant registrations for Fine Americas’ new Kudos PGR. Read More
Apples & PearsFrom The Road: IFTA Conference Day 5
February 26, 2015
Carlson lecture highlights where IFTA has been and looks to the next generation to continue the legacy. Read More
The Latest
FruitsTake The Leap Of Faith, And Increase Your Ticket Price
February 28, 2015
A higher admission price helps to sets a level of expectation and helps offset the costs of running a successful agritainment operation. Read More
FruitsMaximize Produce Profits By Focusing On Soil Health
February 27, 2015
Cover crops are just one of the ways you can help boost your trees’ and vines’ performance and your bottom line. Read More
FNV logo
CitrusPMA Announces Funding For Major Produce Marketing Progr…
February 26, 2015
The produce industry is getting into brand marketing in a big way. The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has announced the launch of a new promotional campaign - FNV - designed to take a page from the marketing strategies of big-money consumer brands like Nike and Apple. Read More
FruitsHave Faith In Science – Which Means GMOs [Opinion…
February 25, 2015
When it comes to farming, sticking with established, commonly accepted science is the way to go. Read More
Apples & PearsFrom The Road: IFTA Conference Day 4
February 25, 2015
Creating fruiting walls with mechanical hedgers can help increase light interception in the canopy, say researchers and growers. Read More
Food Safety“Dirty Dozen” List Authors Say Conventionally Grown Pro…
February 25, 2015
Sound science prevails and consumers are encouraged to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. Read More
CitrusFDA, Federal Partners Develop New Method For Attributin…
February 25, 2015
Data was analyzed from nearly 1,000 outbreaks to assess which categories of foods were most responsible for making people sick. Read More
CitrusBiocontrols 2015: Exhibition Sneak Preview
February 25, 2015
We take a look inside the exhibit hall at the Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow. Read More
CitrusNew App Helps Identify Insects, Diseases, And Nutrient …
February 24, 2015
Spensa Technologies launches app that helps growers take control of pests and improve soil nutrients. Read More
CitrusPacked Political Agenda On Tap For Florida Farmers
February 23, 2015
The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s board of directors are working on a number of key issues that will be front-burner throughout 2015. Read More
Apples & PearsThe State Of Mechanical Apple Harvesting
February 23, 2015
Breakthroughs in mechanization have been a long time coming, but recent advances combining the skills of both people and machines are bringing efficiencies to orchards of all sizes. Read More
Apples & PearsOn The Road With IFTA: Conference Day 1
February 21, 2015
Honeycrisp ― and the delicate balance between quality and profitability ― are the preconference workshop focus at this year's IFTA Conference. Read More
CitrusWest Coast Governors Call For End To Port Labor Impasse
February 19, 2015
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez helps mediate discussions between dockworkers and port operators. Read More
CitrusCompanion Biological Fungicide Now OMRI Listed
February 19, 2015
The biological fungicide from Growth Products is now registered for use in organic production. Read More
Crop ProtectionFMC Launches Biological Fungicide With New Mode Of Acti…
February 18, 2015
The broad spectrum fungicide, Fracture, is labeled for prevention and control of powdery mildew, botrytis, and brown rot blossom blight. Read More
CitrusNew Desalination Technology May Be The Answer To Califo…
February 18, 2015
Researchers plan to address concerns with a process that will examine ways to turn seawater into drinkable water. Read More
David Holden
CitrusBiopesticides, Biostimulants Show Results In Fruits And…
February 18, 2015
From biostimulants in celery and avocado to biopesticides in citrus and strawberries, consultant David Holden conducts in-the-field research that attests to the effectiveness of biocontrols. Read More
CitrusMegadrought In The West Predicted By End Of The Century
February 18, 2015
Lowering greenhouse gases will reduce risk, scientists say. Read More