GREEN BAY, Wis. — Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, the third-largest dairy cooperative in the country, issued a statement today after Congress left any agricultural workforce legislation out of the omnibus spending bill voted on earlier today.
Last week, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., introduced the Affordable and Secure Food Act, similar legislation to the Farm Workforce Modernization Act that passed through the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2021. Sen. Bennet’s new bill included changes to the H-2A program, allowing dairy farmers to access workers. It also provided a pathway to legal status for current workers should they meet certain criteria. The bill was introduced as an amendment to the omnibus, but Senate leadership ultimately did not allow a vote on the Affordable and Secure Food Act as part of the amendment process that took place earlier today.
Statement from Brody Stapel, president of Edge and a dairy farmer in eastern Wisconsin:
“Edge is disappointed by the continued lack of action by Congress to address a growing concern among all U.S. farmers and agricultural businesses. Farmers are facing a crisis in finding workers — one that threatens our food systems and the entire supply chain.
“We thank Sen. Bennet for his leadership in searching for answers to this ongoing crisis, as well as all those who supported efforts for solutions. Edge will continue to work on behalf of its farmers to build a skilled and sustainable workforce.”
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Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative provides dairy farmers throughout the Midwest with a powerful voice — the voice of milk — in Congress, with customers and within our communities. Edge, based in Green Bay, Wis., is the third largest dairy cooperative in the country based on milk volume. Member farms are located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. More information: www.voiceofmilk.com.