Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says there is a need for comprehensive immigration reform and that lack of action will be detrimental to both agriculture and the economy as a whole. Minnesota Milk Producers Association President Pat Lunemann says he’s encouraged by the Ag leader’s comments and is hoping the House will get going and pass the immigration legislation.
Vilsack says providing a pathway to citizenship for those immigrant ag workers could take 10 to 13 years so the sooner Congress gets legislation passed the better. Lunemann says he agrees with the Secretary and the need for more than just seasonal immigrant workers is needed in the dairy industry.
Vilsack and Lunemann agree that the lack of ag labor if it continues with no reform in place will result in a decrease in both agricultural production and outputs and exports which will lead to losses in farm income and jobs in the economy.