No industry faces a greater challenge building and maintaining a work force than the dairy industry. And no segment of the dairy industry faces a greater challenge than dairy producers. That said, processors and the entire dairy supply chain also rely heavily on immigrant labor. And dairy producers, with a 12 month-a-year cycle, need to make a far stronger effort than the rest of agriculture to succeed.
It is no secret that the dairy industry - especially the producer segment - is well behind other industries and other segments of agriculture, in securing favorable immigration legislative language.
Nationwide, the dairy industry has been challenged by the lack of a stable workforce. Many farming operations need hands-on labor to get their milk into the marketplace. As young Americans are increasingly obtaining education beyond high school, the available workforce has diminished. We must acknowledge that immigrants play a key to the future economic success of the dairy industry. Not only do these workers affect the dairy industry, but also surrounding industries such as feed companies, equipment manufacturing companies, and banks. The current immigration system, which does not provide less-skilled foreigners with a legal way to enter the U.S. and work a year-round job, is not suitable for today’s thriving American economy.
The American Dairy Coalition has begun bringing together producers, processors and the dairy supply chain in a unified voice for an immigration policy that maximizes the opportunity for U. S. dairy producers to continue to grow in supplying America and the world with essential, nutritious, safe milk and dairy products.
The American Dairy Coalition wants you to join in this effort.
September 10, 2018
Perdue Urges Congress to Pass the AG and Legal Workforce Act
Earlier today, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue urged Congress to pass immigration reform bill, called the AG and Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 6417), which will expand the guest-worker program for agriculture.
“I hope Congress can see to pass that bill and give farmers and workers in agriculture an opportunity to rely on a guest-worker program without having the shadows of illegality lurking over them all the time, “ Perdue stated at a USDA conference Monday.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and co-sponsored by over 100 bipartisan Members of Congress, will create a new and updated H-2C Visa program that can be utilized for both seasonal and year-round labor needs. This bill is also backed by the American Dairy Coalition and over 200 other industry groups.
ADC is working with legislators throughout the U.S. to secure enough votes to pass this law. We are looking for dairy/livestock/and agriculture producers, along with allied partners in the following states, to contact ADC.
July 24th, 2018
ADC is disappointed House Leadership will not allow the House of Representatives to vote on the bipartisan AG and Legal Workforce Act before Congress returns to their home districts for the month of August.
The outpouring of letters, phone calls, and e-mails from our ADC Members across the United States were highly effective.
ADC received a call today from the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan's office to let us know he supports this bill.
Over the last several weeks the list of supporters for this bill has grown and continues growing every day. Dairy, livestock, agriculture are diligently working together. Even though we won’t see a vote this week we are making great progress.
Your legislators will be back in their home districts in August. This gives us an additional opportunity to meet face to face with our legislators and secure them as a co-sponsor of this bill. The more co-sponsors we have, the easier it will be for House Leadership to schedule a vote in early September.
ADC will continue to remain diligent and will continue working hard on your behalf until we ensure a viable labor force for your operations.
July 11th, 2018
URGENT: Our Best Shot at a Guest-worker Program is NOW
House Leadership has announced they are committed to bringing a combination AG Act/ Legal Workforce Act to the House Floor for a vote this month.
It is absolutely critical that our industry contacts our House representatives immediately to urge them to support legislation to provide a guest-worker program for the dairy industry.
"The dairy industry cannot afford to let this opportunity go by. We must all contact our Republican Members of the House and let them know they must address the agriculture labor crisis during this Congress" said Laurie Fischer, CEO, American Dairy Coalition.
You can find your legislators’ contact information here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
If you don’t know who your legislators are, feel free to contact us and we will provide you with their contact information. You can e-mail or call them.
This bill is expected to be voted on very soon. Your action is needed NOW!
We cannot stress enough the importance of reaching out to your representatives. We have waited 20 years for an immigration reform solution to provide the reliable workforce our industry so desperately needs. Now is the time to make it happen.
The American Dairy Coalition thanks House Leadership for upholding their commitment to providing a vote for a guest-worker visa program. Additional bill details to follow as soon as they become available.
The immigration roller coaster has been fast-paced, complicated, and confusing. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com
American Dairy Coalition Requests House Leadership to Stand by their Promise
ADC is extremely disappointed and frustrated with the lack of desire to move forward a guest-worker program to ensure the dairy industry has an adequate labor force to feed the world. Late last night the AG Act was removed from the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 (H.R. 6136), also known as the Goodlatte #2 - Compromise Bill, after negotiations to include it fell through.
ADC is asking House Leadership to make good on its previous commitment for a separate July vote on a single immigration bill to ensure a reliable labor force for the dairy, livestock and agriculture industry.
The dairy industry is very labor-intensive and is suffering from a lack of available workers in our rural communities to take care of our animals, tend to crops and provide the world with healthy, affordable, safe dairy products, ” said John Jacobs, President of ADC.
“The American Dairy Coalition thanks the efforts of our industry who repeatedlyreached out and appealed to lawmakers throughout the U.S. to pass a new guest-worker program that will help to resolve our industry’s labor crisis. We are extremely concerned that Congress removed a bill that could have provided us the first solution in over 30 years. We urge House Leadership to make good on previous promises to provide a separate standalone guestworker program solution before August recess, ” said Laurie Fischer, ADC’s CEO.
ADC is urging House Leadership to work with them on a new guest-worker program for the dairy industry. As interior enforcement efforts continue, the dairy industry is currently left without any means to secure a legal workforce and this spells disaster for the dairy industry. We must either find a legal process to import labor, or we will end up importing food and putting thousands of domestic workers in the unemployment line.
An Immigration Fix for Ag Still Possible
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) recently sat down with AgDay TV host Clinton Griffiths to discuss his bill, the Agricultural Guestworker Act. This bill creates a new, workable agricultural guestworker program for America’s farmers and ranchers and is also contained in the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760).
Watch video and learn more here.
Agriculture Guest Worker Provision Added to the “Securing America’s Future Act”
The American Dairy Coalition is very pleased to announce an Agriculture Guestworker Provision has been added to the “Securing America’s Future Act”. Along with this guestworker provision for the dairy, livestock and agriculture industry, the bill bolsters enforcement of existing immigration laws. It is vital to our industry that this guestworker provision is workable and allows current unlawful workers and additional new workers a legal status which allows them to work at agricultural facilities. ADC understands the importance of getting this language right and is working closely with Chairman Goodlatte’s office and other trade associations on additional improvements.
The Securing America's Future Act includes numerous reforms to enforce immigration laws and secure the border with the following provisions:
-Authorizing a border wall construction
-Secures ports of entry
-Adds additional Border Patrol Agents
-Makes E-Verify mandatory
-Removes dangerous criminals
-Provides individuals who received deferred action on the basis of being brought to the U.S. as minors get a 3-year renewable legal status allowing them to work and travel overseas (without advance parole).
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), House Judiciary Committee Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), and House Homeland Security Committee Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Martha McSally (R- Ariz.) jointly introduced this bill (H.R. 4760).
Learn more about the Securing America's Future Act
For more than 20 years, the members of the American Dairy Coalition have looked to our federal government to fix our broken immigration system. As dairy producers who provide consumers around the world with nutritious, safe and affordable dairy products, more manpower than ever is needed to milk the cows, tend the fields and keep the dairy industry viable.
These low-skilled, but vitally important jobs, are passed up by domestic workers time and time again — regardless of increased starting wages and benefit packages. These unfilled jobs are important for creating the higher-skilled jobs that employ thousands and thousands of domestic workers.
The bottom line: If dairy producers cannot find the labor they need, our nation must either import workers or import dairy products from foreign countries. Outsourcing our dairy industry would be devastating for not only the dairy industry, but for all domestic workers employed by the economic generation of the dairy industry.
The dairy industry currently does not have the means to utilize a visa program. This puts the dairy industry at a distinct disadvantage, and puts the jobs of American citizens who support the dairy industry at risk.
Additional information: Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act)
UPDATE 10/25/17: House Judiciary Committee Takes Monumental Step Forward
The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) Applauds the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and the Judiciary Committee on moving the AG Act forward. America’s farmers and ranchers are extremely pleased to see, after 20 years, a bill finally moving forward that allows them to remain productive and competitive. Read more here.
View ADC's previous letter of support here.
On October 5, 2017 ADC held an informative session highlighting the details of the recently introduced Agriculture Guestworker Act (AG Act) at this year’s World Dairy Expo event. Before a standing-room-only crowd, a message recorded especially for ADC’s attendees by Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) was played to provide an overview of his AG Act bill. This bill will create a new visa category, the H-2C, that will replace the outdated and cumbersome H-2A visa category. The Ag Act will provide a workable solution to provide dairy operations access to year-round, safe and reliable labor. Attendees engaged in a question and answer session led by ADC Founder and CEO, Laurie Fischer and had the opportunity to provide feedback that will go to Chairman Goodlatte. Click on the image below to view Chairman Goodlatte’s video:
The Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act) replaces the impractical H-2A program with a sensible guestworker program. The new visa catagory (known as H-2C) is designed to boost the modern agricultural labor market as needed.
• The AG Act eliminates bureaucratic red-tape. The program will be administered by the USDA which understands the unique needs of America’s farm and ranch operations and the challenges of processing raw, perishable agricultural commodities.
• The AG Act is market-driven and adaptable. By offering workers and employers more choices in their employment arrangements, the Ag Act offers flexibility and makes it easier for workers to move freely throughout the marketplace to meet demands. With limited exceptions, H-2C workers can be employed under contract or at will.
• The AG Act reduces costly and abusive litigation.
- Unlike the Senate bill, the AG Act does not give guestworkers a new, private right of action to sue farmers and ranchers in federal court.
- In response to unremitting criticism of the behavior of taxpayer- funded Legal Services Corporation (LSC) attorneys from every corner of the countryside, as well as from LSC’s own Office of Inspector General, LSC attorneys are not permitted to participate in lawsuits against the H-2C employers.
• The AG Act eliminates the Adverse Effect Wage Rate once and for all. Under this program, employers will pay guestworkers minimum wage + 15%, not a wage dreamed up by Labor Department bureaucrats.
• The AG Act creates a modern and streamlined agricultural guestworker program. Under the program, registered agricultural employers will attest to their need for workers when efforts to recruit U.S. workers do not yield the help they need.
• The AG Act recognizes that not all agriculture jobs require the same level of skill and experience. This program gives employers the opportunity to invest their time training workers for specialized or hard to fill jobs by allowing workers an initial stay of 36 months.
• The AG Act does not require growers to train and hire unneeded workers after their workforce is established and work begins (thereby eliminating the often-abused “50% rule“.)
• The AG Act gives employers the option of providing housing and transportation to workers.
• The AG Act serves the diverse interests of the agriculture industry. The adaptable program will support aquaculture operations, dairies, food processors and other year-round agricultural employers. The Agricultural Guestworker Act provides farm labor stability. The bill will encourage illegal farm workers to identify themselves, participate in the program (to the extent that work is available), and return home to re-establish ties to their home countries.
• The AG Act requires a maximum periodic touchback of 45 days. The worker can accumulate time outside the U.S. toward the touchback total during the initial 36 months of their visa.
Download additional information about the AG Act here.
American Dairy Coalition Inc.
PO Box 10976, Green Bay, WI 54307-0976