July 27, 2021
US pork official calls for expansion of visa programme to address labour shortage
National Pork Producers Council president Jen Sorenson had urged the US Congress to address agriculture labor shortage by expanding the H-2A visa programme for year-round use without a cap.
During a testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sorenson explained that US pork production is a year-round effort, requiring a hardworking and dedicated workforce on farms and in processing plants.
"Current visa programmes designed for seasonal agriculture—such as the H-2A visa—fail to meet the workforce needs of US pork producers and other year-round livestock farmers. Now more than ever, we need a dedicated, year-round workforce," Sorenson told the committee.
If not addressed, the labor shortage "could lead to farms and packing plants shutting down, causing serious financial harm to the communities in which they operate.
As a result, pork production would be constrained, leading to higher food prices for consumers and the United States becoming an unreliable trading partner for the many countries around the world that rely on our pork," noted Sorenson.
- Ohio's Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net