With spring rapidly approaching, American agriculture industries are increasingly worried about a growing labor shortage. An American Farm Bureau Federation economic analysis concluded that $5 billion to $9 billion in annual production is in jeopardy if the U.S. employee shortage cannot be filled.
A recent University of Georgia report found a projected loss of $391 million last year in the Peach State due to crop rot from labor shortages. Alabama is also experiencing severe economic losses due to labor shortage.
In Kansas, Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman is seeking a federal waiver that would allow companies to hire illegal immigrants. Rodman has met several times with officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about launching a pilot program that would place employers and illegal immigrants in a special state-organized network. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that the goal is to create a legal, straightforward manner of organizing existing immigrant labor.