The individual information provided by the respondents was kept confidential—although we gave members the option to provide their contact information if we could call on them to talk to an elected official or a reporter about the real-world effects of federal immigration policies.
The survey showed that nearly two-thirds of those who responded had trouble hiring enough workers. The survey produced credible summary information that was widely circulated throughout media outlets as well as testimony in Congress, indicating that there needed to be a fix to our broken labor and immigration system. Farm Bureau was able to show that even during times of high domestic unemployment, farmers and ranchers were challenged to find available workers, even at desirable wage levels.
As you'll read in our story this week, the full U.S. Senate is due to take up an immigration-reform bill soon. The House of Representatives is working on its own immigration proposals. It's imperative to have timely information about what farmers are experiencing with the availability of on-farm workers this year.
That information can be used in developing an immigration-reform package that not only deals with the current agricultural workers in the U.S. but also provides a legal entry system for future immigrant workers, so farmers can be assured of a legal workforce in the future.
For those reasons, Farm Bureau has reactivated our online labor survey.
Please take a few minutes and fill out the survey. As before, we will keep your information private.
Only with current, verifiable information can we push for solutions that will serve the producers of our diverse agricultural commodities, who wager so much to produce them.