Many members of the Nebraska State Dairy Association hope Congress approves comprehensive immigration legislation that includes a guest worker or ag labor program.
Dairy Association executive director Rod Johnson says he’s watching U-S House movement of legislation very closely.
“We do need a very stable workforce and naturally we want the workforce to be legal and be stable,” Johnson says. “As things move forward, that’s going to be our main concern.”
Immigration reform legislation has passed the U-S Senate but hasn’t surfaced in the House.
Members of the U-S House are still deciding how to — or whether to — legalize undocumented immigrants who are already in the country.
Johnson says whatever Congress decides, the ag worker program is crucial to the dairy industry as more than seasonal workers are needed.
“The industry relies on good steady workers, people that we know will be there day in and day out,” Johnson says. “It’s very specialized in knowing what to do and in taking proper care of our animals and make sure everything is done correctly. We can’t do that with seasonal workers that come and go.”
Besides the legalization problem, some lawmakers are also concerned with the need for better border security.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton