|Green Bay, Wisconsin — Over 40% of the employees in agriculture are foreign-born, even during times of high unemployment. Wisconsin dairy producers need a legal system to employ foreign labor. Such as the system proposed in the Ag Jobs Act of 2009, which would allow dairy farmers to employ foreign labor, similar to what is used in other segments of agriculture for seasonal employees.
Members of the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative (DBMMC) recently travelled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and his staff. An important issue to DBMMC members is the access to labor. Dairy farming can be a 24 hour, seven day a week operation. Finding employees to keep these labor intense operations running has proven to be difficult.
“The work on a dairy farm can be physically demanding and repetitive. When I post a job opening in my local paper, I get very few responses, if any,” commented John Pagel, DBMMC President. “Dairy farmers need a legal system to bring in foreign labor, much like other segments of the agricultural industry currently have.”
“We made the trip out to Washington DC to alert members of Congress to the problems dairy farmers face back home,” commented Laurie Fischer, Executive Director of DBMMC. “Congressman Sensenbrenner and his staff have been very attentive to our concerns. We look forward to continue to work with him to find a solution to the dairy industry’s labor shortage.”
The Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative is a testing, verification cooperative within Federal Milk Marketing Order #30. DBMMC allows members to vote on proposed federal orders and advocates on behalf of its members for the implementation of federal policies that advance the dairy industry. For more information on DBMMC, visit www.dbmmc.com.