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AgriNews: Duvall: Farms struggle to find workers

Thanks to scientific innovation in agriculture, farmers and ranchers are using fewer resources to grow an abundant, sustainable food supply. But I wonder how far our new technology and techniques will take us if farmers are left without one of the most critical resources to keep our farms sustainable: a stable workforce.

Agriculture’s labor shortage is at a crisis level, with farmers such as Burr and Rosella Mosby losing crops and income because there aren’t enough workers for harvest.

Every year, we hear stories of fresh produce rotting in the fields instead of feeding people, because farmers cannot find help or secure guest workers in time. Without relief, many farmers will have to scale back production or get out of farming altogether.

I think of farmers such as Tim McMillan, who would like to sustain their farms to pass on to the next generation. Instead, they are left wondering if it makes sense to go on when they don’t have enough workers to plant, tend and harvest crops — and the problem gets worse every year.

The farm labor shortage also takes a bite out of our national economy. A study by the group New American Economy estimated that the shortage cost $3.3 billion in gross domestic product growth in 2012 alone.

Read the full story from AgriNews: “Duvall: Farms struggle to find workers”

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