Washington--The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging the administration to make sure that any steps undertaken to tighten enforcement at the U.S. border do not create more uncertainty for agricultural producers.
“Right now, farmers and ranchers are toughing it out,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Many of our products are caught up in a trade dispute. Mother Nature has devastated the livelihoods of tens of thousands of producers. Prices for many commodities remain depressed. We are doing the best we can in a very challenging environment.
Trade between Idaho and Mexican trade partners tops the $415-million dollars mark each year. More than 23-thousand Idaho jobs are directly dependent on trade with Mexico and Idaho's fifth largest trade partner.
“While our members support border security, they are increasingly anxious about what ‘closing the border’ might mean for their farms and ranches. This is especially true for growers who have had H-2A applications approved and are expecting their workers to arrive on time, ready to help tend and harvest this year’s crops. We are hopeful the administration will take concrete steps to ensure that H-2A workers can arrive in time for the work that needs to be done.
“If further efforts are undertaken to secure the border, we want to make sure farmers and ranchers are not adversely affected by any of these efforts and that producers who depend on international markets and workers have an assurance that their farm businesses are not jeopardized.”