February 02, 2023

Indiana farm leaders want swift, common sense solutions to labor shortages

INDIANAPOLIS — During a roundtable discussion, speakers called on politicians to pass legislation to increase access to the H-2A visa program.

The event was hosted by Indiana Farm Bureau and the American Business Immigration Coalition. It included speakers from several commodity groups.

“We rely on immigrant labor to help our animals, and, like the dairy sector, we need help year-round,” said Indiana Poultry Association President Rebecca Joniskan.

“We rely on our workers to have good knowledge of animal welfare and also to be cognizant of our biosecurity needs as we face disease incidents.”

She encouraged members of Congress to find solutions that work for Hoosiers and the country as a whole.

Speakers noted how the farm labor shortage is driving up prices for all consumers.

“Everything on your plate costs more now because every input into our costs is skyrocketing,” said Patrick Tamm, Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association president and CEO.

“Why? Workforce. We can focus all we want to on workforce retraining, but we don’t have enough people in the state for all the jobs.

“If we don’t have a positive conversation about immigration today, we’ll continue to crush Hoosier households.”

Learn more about the American Business Immigration Coalition at www.abic.us.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor