Farm Bureau helping farmers during COVID-19

Published 3:53 pm Friday, March 20, 2020

Georgia Farm Bureau’s Public Policy Department has been working closely in recent days with the Georgia delegation in the U.S. House and Senate, and with officials at the USDA to avoid labor shortages caused by changes pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long praised the USDA following the announcement on Thursday that the agency would share information with the Department of Labor to assist H-2A employers.

“We’ve worked with our House and Senate delegation in Washington to advance ideas just like this, and we are pleased to see the USDA taking action to help ensure that Georgia farmers are able to harvest their crops and get them on grocery store shelves for American consumers during this pandemic,” Long said. 

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USDA and DOL have identified nearly 20,000 H-2A and H-2B certified positions that have expiring contracts in the coming weeks. There will be workers leaving these positions who could be available to transfer to a different employer’s labor certification. The data, available, includes the number of certified worker positions, the current employer name and contact, attorney/agent name and contact, and the worksite address. This information will be a resource to H-2A employers whose workforce has been delayed because of travel restrictions or visa processing limitations. Employers should be aware that all statutory and regulatory requirements continue to apply.

Employers are encouraged to monitor for the latest information and should monitor the relevant Embassy/Consular websites for specific operational information.

Georgia Farm Bureau is a membership-based nonprofit dedicated to providing a face and voice for farmers and families involved in agriculture. With nearly 300,000 members and offices in virtually every county across the state of Georgia, it is one of the nation’s largest farm organizations. GFB offers leadership and assistance, farm product promotion and legislative representation to ensure Georgia’s farming future.

Becoming a Georgia Farm Bureau member helps support local farmers and ensures Georgians continue to have access to locally grown, high-quality food.