On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed their comprehensive Immigration and Border Security bill, S. 744, by a vote of 68 to 32. Agricultural organizations were quick to praise the passage as a step toward a more stable and legal workforce. Immigration reform will however face a bumpier road in the House of Representatives.

“A strong year-round workforce is paramount to the success of the cattle industry, says NCBA President Scott George, a cattle and dairy producer from Cody, Wyo. “Cattlemen depend on a legal and stable workforce year round. We recognize that the first step in ensuring the success of our workforce is securing and maintaining our borders. The conversations taking place on the Hill right now are keeping these issues front and center and we truly appreciate those efforts.”

Deborah Atwood, Executive Director of AGree, also praised the Senate’s action. “Today’s margin of victory sends the very strong message that solving this issue is of vital importance to the future of our nation. Every sector of our economy will benefit immensely from this legislation, but maybe none more profoundly than American agriculture, which is why all food and ag sectors are united in support. This legislation will mean a better future for millions of foreign-born agricultural workers and for farmers and ranchers struggling with serious labor shortages.”