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NMPF Celebrates House Passage of Milestone Bipartisan Ag Labor Bill; Focus Shifts to Senate

January 7, 2020

NMPF commended the House of Representatives for passing the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038) December 11, before adjourning for the year. The bill includes critical provisions to address dairy’s unique workforce needs and represents the first House-passed agricultural labor reform measure in more than three decades.

NMPF thanked Immigration Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA), the lead sponsors of H.R. 5038, as well as the more than four-dozen co-sponsors drawn from each party, for their work on this legislation, which has drawn wide support from prominent groups in the agricultural, business, worker, and humanitarian communities.

“The passage of legislation that helps address dairy’s unique workforce challenges is certainly a milestone and an opportunity we must pursue to the fullest,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Agricultural labor reform is long overdue. With the House having acted it is now imperative that the Senate strive to fully address the needs of dairy farmers and all of agriculture, helping farmers do what they do best: feed our nation, and the world.”

“The urgency to reform the agricultural labor system cannot be overstated for dairy farmers,” said Mike McCloskey, dairy farmer and chair of NMPF’s Immigration Task Force. “House members on a bipartisan basis have shown us that they are taking our labor crisis seriously. We will use this momentum to work with the Senate to build consensus in drafting an improved bill that further addresses dairy’s workforce needs.”

NMPF has begun discussions with senators on a bipartisan basis, working in partnership with other agricultural organizations.