KLA participates in ag labor discussion

Last week, during a press conference and roundtable discussion in Kansas City, Missouri, stakeholders in the Kansas and Missouri agriculture and business industries, including Kansas Livestock Association, urged swift action to fix labor shortages. The event was coordinated to call attention to the need for new agricultural workforce solutions as negotiations surrounding this topic continue in the U.S. Senate.

KLA Chief Executive Officer Matt Teagarden told those in attendance the lack of labor has limited growth opportunities for association members, particularly those in the dairy industry. Having sought agricultural workforce reform for more than a decade, KLA supports immigration policy that provides for an efficient and effective guest worker program that addresses the labor needs of animal agriculture, while also ensuring individuals are legally entering the country.

“To be effective, the H2A guest worker program needs to be modified to accommodate the year-round labor needs of livestock operations,” he said. “Feeding cattle and milking cows are not seasonal jobs; it must be done every day all year long.”

While KLA members would prefer comprehensive immigration reform, incremental progress that provides options for livestock producers is a step in the right direction. Teagarden thanked Sens. Mike Crapo of Idaho and Mike Bennet of Colorado for working to develop legislation that addresses the workforce needs of agriculture, and encouraged Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, who have been great supporters of Kansas livestock producers, to further support these efforts.