Ag News: Farm Workforce Modernization Act Vote
**With a House vote expected this month on an agricultural immigration bill, farm groups have renewed their support for the measure.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act intends to improve agricultural visa programs and accommodate immigrant farm employees already in the United States.
It passed the House of Representatives in 2019 and sponsors have reintroduced it.
Farm Bureaus are calling the bill “a top priority” and other farm groups have endorsed it.
**The USDA would be barred from allowing faster line speeds at hog and poultry slaughter plants during the pandemic under companion bills filed in the House and Senate.
According to www.agriculture.com, a recent study by the National Employment Law Project says more meat and poultry workers died of COVID-19 during 2020 than from all other work-related deaths in the previous 15 years.
Sponsors says corporate meatpackers pursued faster line speeds to protect their bottom lines at the expense of workers.
**The USDA published a Federal Register Notice requesting public input on a climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategy.
The Order states, “America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners have an important role to play in combating the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, trees, and other vegetation.”
The Order directs Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to solicit input as USDA develops a climate-smart ag and forestry approach.