North American Blueberry Council Applauds Reintroduction of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act
For Immediate Release: July 10, 2023
FOLSOM, Calif. – The North American Blueberry Council (NABC) today released a statement applauding the bipartisan reintroduction of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act by Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), John Duarte (R-Calif.), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
“The agriculture industry faces unique employment challenges that have been left unaddressed for far too long,” said Kasey Cronquist, president of the NABC. “Specialty crops – like blueberries – require a skilled and flexible workforce to remain competitive globally, and the H-2A guest worker program is not structured to meet these needs.”
“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act is a vital piece of legislation that will streamline the H-2A program and create a critical, agriculture-specific merit-based visa program,” Cronquist continued. “This bipartisan legislation will help address the worker shortages we see across the blueberry industry, provide relief from burdensome fees placed on our farmers and reduce the time spent on bureaucratic processes, allowing farmers to focus on their operations.”
“NABC commends the Representatives for their leadership and the reintroduction of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and urges Congress to pass this legislation to provide much needed support for America’s agriculture industry,” Cronquist added.
About NABC: Since 1965, the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) has been the voice of the blueberry industry in the U.S. and Canada. NABC’s members represent approximately 70% of the North American highbush blueberry crop. NABC was instrumental in the establishment of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHABC), a federal agriculture research and promotion program with independent oversight from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Learn more at https://nabc.blueberry.org/