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 & PearsEPA Approves New 1-MCP Technology
July 30, 2015
EPA approved Fysium, a new 1-MCP product from Pace International LLC. Considered new technology, this product is produced on-site by Read More
FruitsTodd Snyder Named President And CEO Of C&O Nursery
July 30, 2015
Todd Snyder, the third generation of Snyders to run C&O Nursery, was recently named president and CEO of the family Read More
CitrusWestern Growers Praises Introduction Of California Emergency Drought Relief Act
July 30, 2015
Legislation contains short- and long-term provisions to deal with the historic drought. Read More
Farm ManagementFour Great Pricing Tips From U-Pick Experts
July 30, 2015
Although each of the growers I talked to has his or her own take on a pricing structure, they all Read More
BerriesUC-Davis Responds To California Auditor’s Recommended Improvements To Strawberry Program
July 30, 2015
Following a six-month review of the University of California (UC)-Davis Strawberry breeding program, the California state auditor’s office has released Read More
Farm ManagementHow To Find Your Perfect U-Pick Pricing Structure
July 30, 2015
If there’s one mission impossible for pick-your-own operations, it might just be how to set a pricing structure. Odds are you’ve Read More
CitrusGroup Food Safety Audits May Help Prepare You For The Produce Rule
July 29, 2015
Group food safety audits, slated to be available next spring, may save small- to mid-size growers time and money. Read More
The Latest
FruitsTodd Snyder Named President And CEO Of C&O Nursery
July 30, 2015
Todd Snyder, the third generation of Snyders to run C&O Nursery, was recently named president and CEO of the family Read More
CitrusWestern Growers Praises Introduction Of California Emer…
July 30, 2015
Legislation contains short- and long-term provisions to deal with the historic drought. Read More
Farm ManagementFour Great Pricing Tips From U-Pick Experts
July 30, 2015
Although each of the growers I talked to has his or her own take on a pricing structure, they all Read More
Farm ManagementHow To Find Your Perfect U-Pick Pricing Structure
July 30, 2015
If there’s one mission impossible for pick-your-own operations, it might just be how to set a pricing structure. Odds are you’ve Read More
CitrusGroup Food Safety Audits May Help Prepare You For The P…
July 29, 2015
Group food safety audits, slated to be available next spring, may save small- to mid-size growers time and money. Read More
Farm ManagementUnited Farm Workers Turns Up Heat On California Growers
July 29, 2015
With temperatures soaring into the triple digits, union organizers are focusing on heat illness regulations. Read More
Disease ControlNew Disease Control Tools For Fruit And Nut Growers
July 29, 2015
Apple scab is a big problem for growers in the Midwest and East. But, a new fungicide boasts efficacy against Read More
FruitsFruit Grower Tour Held Next Week In New York
July 28, 2015
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 5 for the 17th annual Wayne County Fruit Grower Tour presented by agr.assistance. Read More
Bill Stoneman
Crop ProtectionFormer BPIA Head Relishes Challenge Of New Consulting R…
July 28, 2015
JET Harvest Solutions taps Bill Stoneman for his bounty of biocontrol experience. Read More
Washington Capitol building
CitrusHouse Passes Bill To Block State GMO Food Labeling Mand…
July 27, 2015
The legislation would offer a federal standard for voluntary labeling of foods containing GMOs.   Read More
Citrus2 Dozen Florida Nurseries Vying For Coveted Cannabis Gr…
July 27, 2015
With only five spots available to produce the low-THC ‘Charlotte’s Web’ strain, tedious review process is in full swing. Read More
CitrusUSDA Expands Crop Insurance Options For Fruit And Nut G…
July 24, 2015
The USDA announced the expansion of crop insurance to provide additional options for fruit and nut producers. The Supplemental Coverage Read More
FFVA 2015 Annual Convention logo
CitrusFlorida Fruit & Vegetable Association Annual Conven…
July 23, 2015
Association's 72nd gathering to feature high-profile speakers, up-to-the-minute Issues Forums, and some fun to mix in with the business of the day. Read More
Crop ProtectionRegional Integrated Pest Management Grants Reduced Pest…
July 22, 2015
The program created tools and training information designed for Western growers. Read More
CitrusInternational Report Confirms 2014 As Earth’s Warmest Y…
July 21, 2015
Scientific compilation notes climate markers continue to show global warming trend. Read More
FruitsWashington Supreme Court Rules Workers Paid Piece-Rate …
July 21, 2015
  According to a news story in the Yakima News Herald, the state Supreme Court of Washington unanimously ruled that Read More
non-gmo label leafy greens
CitrusGMO Labeling Battle Moves To House Floor
July 21, 2015
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 was passed by the Agriculture Committee last week and will head Read More
FruitsWestern Growers Commends Passage Of Western Water Bill
July 17, 2015
The Western Growers Association President and CEO, Tom Nassif, released a statement commending the passage of the Western Water and Read More