Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik voted today to pass the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act, legislation that she was an original cosponsor of. The bill, led by Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-4) and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), includes solutions to address the labor crisis facing American agriculture. It provides a pathway to legal status for undocumented farmworkers who have been working in agriculture for at least two years and plan to continue in their jobs. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act allows year-round workers, including dairy workers, to gain access to the H-2A program. Additionally, it simplifies the H-2A application process and establishes a mandatory E-Verify program to maintain employment authorization and records for the agricultural workforce.
“I was proud to help the House pass this bipartisan legislation to ensure our farmers have access to a stable, legal workforce, allowing them to continue to produce abundant, safe, and affordable food,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “North Country farmers have been waiting for agricultural labor reform for years, and this is a major step towards a real solution to the issues facing their workforce. We are fortunate to have a wide range of agriculture operations in the North Country that create jobs and drive our economy, and this legislation will maintain their success. I applaud the House for coming together to pass this important legislation and will continue to advocate for the diverse group of farmers in the North Country.”
“New York Farm Bureau appreciates Rep. Stefanik’s leadership in cosponsoring the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President and dairy farmer in Madrid, NY. “Farms in her district and across the state need access to reliable labor in order to produce the food we need and to support our rural economy.”
“We applaud House passage today of the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which takes significant strides to make badly needed improvements to agriculture immigration policy that address dairy’s unique workforce challenges,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “Congresswoman Stefanik has been a vocal champion on this issue for Upstate New York dairy farmers and we thank her for cosponsoring this bipartisan bill and providing momentum to move it through the House.”
“The U.S. Apple Association applauds Rep. Elise Stefanik for her commitment to securing meaningful ag labor reform,” said USApple President and CEO Jim Bair. “The Farm Workforce Modernization Act will greatly benefit U.S. apple production, a labor-intensive industry, which relies heavily on foreign born labor.”