Farmer co-ops press fairness for all producers in guest worker wage reforms

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) asked White House officials to ensure that efforts to reform wages paid under the H-2A agricultural guest worker are equitable for farmers across the country. The call came in a letter to the National Economic Council.

“[T]he Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) has been one of the greatest barriers and limitations for farmers to successfully utilize the H-2A program due to its extremely volatile and unpredictable methodology. In fact, we have spent many years developing and analyzing various wage alternative proposals,” the letter states.

“We must ensure, particularly in these uncertain times, that we are not artificially creating additional expenses or burdens to the detriment of farmers in certain states,” the letter continues. “There are many farmers that would not be able to survive any additional wage expenses at this time.”

The letter comes after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows recently stated in media reports that Administration officials were looking at reforming how wages in the H-2A program are calculated.