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Let US farmers continue to feed Americans!
web posted December 12, 2011
Quite often I hear people talking about who grows the food they eat and
where it comes from. Two hundred years ago, this was not a topic for
discussion as the great majority of the population was still on the
farm. Today, however, is a different story! Most Americans do not
have any idea what goes into producing the food they consume on a
Today, less than 1% of the U.S. population is involved in the
agriculture industry. This fact poses many problems for our food
supply. With so few of our population working in agriculture, who is
going to harvest the fruits and vegetables we eat? With most Americans
unwilling to take such jobs, foreign workers seem to be the best answer
to this problem, but are they really?
I am a peach grower in South Carolina and labor issues are one of the
biggest problems that I face today. Today’s farmer is charged with
producing a quality product for an affordable price, but what the
consumer doesn’t realize is the cost of production including labor is
constantly on the increase. As farmers try to stay alive in our
weakening economy, it is harder to grow produce in an economical
manner. If farmers continue to be burdened with labor
regulations, the costs of foods we enjoy will rise higher and higher.
Attempts have been made at guest worker programs that supply the
agriculture industry with workers, but they have all failed. E-Verify
is one of the newest attempts to validate the legality of farm workers.
However, I am afraid it is going to frighten what few workers farmers
do have available. My farm uses the H2A guest worker program. This
program allows us to get work visas in order to hire workers legally
from foreign countries.
The problem with this program is that it is extremely expensive and
most farmers cannot afford to use it. I support guest worker programs
but our policy makers must implement programs that will be cost
effective, efficient, and will not put farmers out of business.
And so I leave you with this question- would you chose to have the food
you feed your family grown on fertile soils in America under the
governance of the USDA and harvested by lawfully admitted foreign
nationals? Or will you accept putting food on your dinner table tonight
grown in a foreign country with unknown production practices and food
Understand that either way , the food will still be harvested by a
foreign worker. I sincerely hope Congress chooses to ensure American
farmers will continue to feed Americans at home, with plenty left over
to feed much of the rest of the world.
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