In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, National Pork Producers Council President Jen Sorenson urged Congress to address the agriculture labor shortage by expanding the H-2A visa program for year-round use without a cap. As she explained, U.S. pork production is a year-round effort, requiring a hardworking and dedicated workforce on farms and in processing plants.
“Current visa programs designed for seasonal agriculture—such as the H-2A visa—fail to meet the workforce needs of U.S. pork producers and other year-round livestock farmers. Now more than ever, we need a dedicated, year-round workforce,” Sorenson told the committee.
If not addressed, the labor shortage “could lead to farms and packing plants shutting down, causing serious financial harm to the communities in which they operate. As a result, pork production would be constrained, leading to higher food prices for consumers and the United States becoming an unreliable trading partner for the many countries around the world that rely on our pork,” she noted.
A copy of her testimony is here. Sorenson’s hearing appearance follows the launch of NPPC’s “Year-Round Pork Needs Year-Round Workers” campaign earlier this month. The campaign features the stories of four foreign-born workers who make vital contributions to the U.S. pork industry and their communities. Learn more here.