Vilsack promotes Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection pilot program

USDA is offering a potential short-term ag labor solution as Congress remains gridlocked on immigration. 

During a stop Tuesday in northeast Iowa to announce grant funding for a local beef processor, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said producers can sign up for a farm worker pilot program.

“It’s a $65 million program, and it’s a relatively small effort obviously in comparison to the size of the problem, but it’s our effort to essentially show how something could work along the lines of the Ag Worker Modernization Act.”

He tells Brownfield the initiative provides a set of grants to ag employers willing to hire skilled immigrant workers from countries including El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico.

“In exchange, there would be a guarantee that the wage levels would be reasonable, that they would have adequate housing. The things that many producers are already providing.”

Vilsack says farms of all sizes can apply for the Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Grant Program.

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