ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – President Trump’s new immigration proposal does not address the growing labor shortage on farms. The New York Farm Bureau said farmers need more workers and it wants the President to consider an expansion of a visa program.
The current visa program, called H-2A, only allows workers in the country temporarily, for such work as fruit and vegetable harvesting. However, dairy’s one of the state’s biggest agricultural industries. For example, New York is the country’s number one yogurt producer.
Lauren Williams works on policy issues at the New York Farm Bureau.
“Currently,” she said, “dairy aren’t able to access that program because milking cows is not considered seasonal.”
The program accounts for more than 7,000 farmworkers every year in the state’s $5 billion agricultural economy.