AmericanHort applauds the passage of the farm workforce modernization act of 2021 (H.R. 1603), in the House of Representatives this week. The bill passed by a vote of 247-174, earning significant bipartisan support in a contentious political environment.
“The advancement of the farm workforce modernization act is the necessary first step in addressing the horticulture industry’s ongoing workforce challenges,” said senior vice president Craig Regelbrugge. “Our growers have dealt with a broken immigration and agricultural visa system for far too long. We extend our sincere appreciation to the bill negotiators and all those Representatives who voted in favor. We now look to Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to take up the issue and consider legislation addressing the three pillars of reform for the essential farm workforce.”
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act has now passed the House of Representatives for the second time, having previously passed in 2019. It was the first agricultural workforce reform legislation to pass the House since 1986. The bill provides solutions that stabilize the current agricultural and horticultural workforce, improve the legal channels for future seasonal and permanent workers in the farming sector, and advance integrity in the hiring process. AmericanHort joined over 250 agricultural organizations in a support letter to House Leadership earlier this week while also coordinating broad grassroots action in support of the bill.