Along with the usual matter of running a day to day ag operation, farmers and ranchers have a couple of other matters on their minds, and their representatives in Washington are starting to talk about them. SFN News Director Rhonda Garrison is at the NAFB Washington Watch and gets an update from Kristi Boswell, Director of Congressional Relations at the American Farm Bureau …
“It is a hectic week having two top priority items being heard.
We started the internal working group process to find something that will work for all of our states. We put together a proposal that was incorporated into a broader coalition and it was the starting point in Senate negotiations. The final product is a compromise agreement but we feel very good about it and it will be better than the status quo and that farmers will be happy with. We worked out all the details because of the history, we know we had to have a solution to our current workforce and we needed a way to keep those experienced workers. But we also needed a better solution than the H2A visa program, it’s a broken program and they are using it because there is no better option. We have a new one that is streamlined and less costly and administered by the USDA.
The Senate bill was introduced in late April and has had a few hearings and is in the mark up process. Over the next three weeks 300 filed amendments will be heard and discussed. We will see floor time after Memorial Day.”
That’s Rhonda Garrison in Washington with Kristi Boswell, Director of Congressional Relations with the American Farm Bureau Federation.