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630+ Ag and Business Groups Call for Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 25, 2014—The American Farm Bureau Federation, as part of a multi-industry coalition of 636 business organizations—154 of them agriculture-related—today urged Congress to move forward with immigration reform this year.

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Many Hoosier farming operations use outside labor in a full time or seasonal capacity and it is important to have a consistent access to this outside labor. Farm Bureau has partnered with several organizations for a united front on the issue of agricultural workers.

Labor Shortage Forces Texas Grower to Destroy Crops

Short 20 field workers, Lubbock, Texas, farmer Bernie Thiel estimates he lost about $200,000 last year when he was forced to shred some of his crops as they sat untouched in the field. Thiel, who’s been farming for more than 40 years, mainly grows fresh market zucchini and yellow squash, which, like most produce, won’t wait around for workers to be available for harvest.

For the past two years, despite advertising heavily on local radio stations and in newspapers, Thiel could not find any new workers who were willing to stick it out for the whole season. “Those who did come out were here for two or three days, maybe a week, and then they were gone,” he said. Read more on the FBNews website. Watch a video news story about Thiel here.

As part of the #IFarmImmigration campaign, Farm Bureau members are encouraged to share the FBNews article via Facebook and Twitter. For more information on the campaign, go to http://www.iamimmigration.org/index.html.

Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding DOL’s Withdrawal of Family-Farming Guidance

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 12, 2014 – “The Department of Labor’s decision to withdraw enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s small farm grain bin guidance is a positive step forward for agriculture. The American Farm Bureau Federation is optimistic that this action will result in OSHA’s compliance with the small farm exemption as required by law.

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AFBF Joins Forces with PNAE on Immigration Reform Efforts

There is a window of opportunity in the House to move immigration reform in 2014. To educate and advocate for agricultural labor reform, Farm Bureau has partnered with Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) in the #IFarmImmigration campaign.

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House Republican Conference Releases Principles for Immigration Reform

During a retreat this week, the House GOP Conference released its Principles for Immigration Reform. You can read the principles here. The GOP is also currently discussing how they will move forward immigration reform this year.

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Ag Labor / Immigration Policy Advisory Group Report

The Ag Labor/Immigration Policy Advisory Group met on Sept. 3, 2013, to discuss the issue of immigration reform and its impact on farmers and the agricultural sector.

For the latest information on immigration issue,
contact Kyle Cline, Policy Advisor National Government Relations
Tel: 317-692-7845 | KCline@infarmbureau.org

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