Action Alert - 3/18/2020
GFB Working with Federal Officials & Ag Allies to Ensure Stable Labor Supply Amid COVID-19 Response
In response to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico announced March 16 an indefinite suspension of routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services beginning March 18—a development that could have a detrimental impact on the arrival of H-2A workers on Georgia farms. Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) immediately began receiving calls from producers who were rightfully concerned about the potential impact this decision could have on their farming operations.
"With all that has happened in agriculture in recent years—from extreme weather events to tariffs and historically low commodity prices—labor has remained one of the top issues for many Georgia farmers, and news that the coronavirus response could make it even more challenging for our farmers to find workers is disheartening,” said GFB President Gerald Long.
President Long and GFB staff are actively engaged with Georgia’s U.S. Senators and Representatives, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and American Farm Bureau Federation, on the issue to begin work towards a viable solution. We are pleased to report that the messages from our farmer-members have been well received and are being taken very seriously by policymakers. We encourage Georgia farmers to continue the important work of feeding and clothing our nation as we work with federal officials, our congressional delegation, and allied industry groups to address this challenge. If you have any questions, concerns, or input for consideration please contact the GFB Public Policy Department by replying to this email.
Read the press release from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico: Status of U.S. Consular Operations in Mexico in Light of COVID-19.
Public Policy Department Staff
Jeffrey Harvey, Director
Joe McManus, Assistant Director
Alex Bradford, State Affairs Coordinator
Raynor Churchwell, Agricultural Programs Specialist
Tripp Cofield, National Policy Counsel
Katie Duvall, Advocacy and Policy Development Coordinator
Renee Jones, Office Coordinator
Jeremy Taylor, Agricultural Programs Specialist