“The dairy sector, like the rest of American agriculture, is facing a labor crisis that has been ongoing for decades. The COVID-19 reality we are all trying to navigate has only exacerbated these challenges,” wrote NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern in a letter to the two departments dated April 9. “As more and more Americans have to remain home to care for children who are out of school or care for other loved ones, there are even fewer workers available to work on our nation’s farms. Our members – and all dairy employers – need increased access to the H-2A program to meet our workforce needs.”
NMPF also thanked federal agencies for recognizing agriculture as critical infrastructure, which has helped keep dairies in operation during the coronavirus crisis.
“Preserving a vibrant dairy producer community in America is indeed essential for the health of rural and urban communities across the country and critical for continued access to wholesome, fresh, nutritious food,” Mulhern wrote. “The availability of workers to help with the daily milking of our cows is crucial – it must be done.”
A copy of the letter is available here.