Georgia Farm Bureau Advocates for Farmers During COVID-19 Pandemic
Georgia Farm Bureau’s Public Policy Department has been working closely in recent days with the Georgia delegation in the U.S. House and Senate, and with officials at the USDA to avoid labor shortages caused by changes pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long praised the USDA following the announcement on Thursday that the agency would share information with the Department of Labor to assist H-2A employers.
“We’ve worked with our House and Senate delegation in Washington to advance ideas just like this, and we are pleased to see the USDA taking action to help ensure that Georgia farmers are able to harvest their crops and get them on grocery store shelves for American consumers during this pandemic,” Long said.
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USDA and DOL have identified nearly 20,000 H-2A and H-2B certified positions that have expiring contracts in the coming weeks. There will be workers leaving these positions who could be available to transfer to a different employer’s labor certification. The data, available on www.farmers.gov/manage/h2a, includes the number of certified worker positions, the current employer name and contact, attorney/agent name and contact, and the worksite address. This information will be a resource to H-2A employers whose workforce has been delayed because of travel restrictions or visa processing limitations. Employers should be aware that all statutory and regulatory requirements continue to apply. Employers are encouraged to monitor www.travel.state.gov for the latest information and should monitor the relevant Embassy/Consular websites for specific operational information.