The American Dairy Coalition and its members across the country are pleased with the passage of the Cellar-Newhouse Amendment. It allows year-round dairy employees to utilize the H-2A visa program. The coalition says without a tool to provide the nation’s dairy farmers with a reliable workforce, farms will struggle to grow or sustain their operations. The amendment will provide a tool to help farmers answer the question of, “Who will milk the cows?”
Laurie Fischer, CEO of the American Dairy Coalition, says dairy farmers consistently see their “Help Wanted” ads go unfilled. “Our domestic workforce is not filling agricultural jobs that are necessary to keep it running,” she says. “We need tools to provide an avenue for farmers to access legal workers willing to fill these year-round jobs.” Additionally, the program will provide the time employers need to make sure their workers are trained to provide the best standard of animal care possible.
The dairy industry has a total economic impact of $620 billion dollars and supports more than three million jobs. The industry must have qualified workers to milk and care for the cows every day. Adding dairy to the H-2A program will be a critical step toward making sure that happens.