Ag labor forum provides key training for Georgia growers
Farmers who need access to labor for producing and harvesting their commodities were treated to a series of expert presentations during the 2017 Agricultural Labor Relations Forum held Nov. 7 and 8 at the UGA Tifton Campus. The event, hosted by Georgia Farm Bureau, the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association and several other statewide agricultural stakeholder groups, addressed wage and hour investigations, OSHA audits, the I-9 process and the H-2A program.
“We needed this conference to come together and understand all the issues we have on immigration,” said GFB President Gerald Long, who spoke during the Nov. 7 session. “There’s a lot of regulations. Immigration reform is a priority issue for Georgia Farm Bureau. At some point in time Congress is going to have to address this. Until that time, we’ve got to follow the requirements. It’s so easy to get out of compliance by not checking one box and doing one little thing that we’re supposed to do.”
On Nov. 8, Drew Echols from Jaemor Farms and Ellen Hendley from AgWorks gave a joint presentation on the H-2A process.
During Echols presentation, he discussed the basic things new H-2A employers should understand before they enter the program.
First were the basic timelines for required aspects of the H-2A program. For instance, plans to provide housing for H-2A workers have to be in place, the housing must be inspected and the farmer needs to plan how to manage payroll early in the process.
To view the presentation slides from all of the event’s presenters visit http://www.georgiaaglaborforum.com/presentations.html.