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Agricultural labor has no ‘one size fits all’ solution

Agricultural labor has no ‘one size fits all’ solution

By Gene Hall

I am a big fan of Dr. Thomas Sowell, a free market economist, except when he starts talking about agricultural labor and immigration reform.

Dr. Sowell’s support of the free market is something I appreciate most of the time. His latest article, however, challenging a “need” for workers in agriculture, has missed the target. He wrote that we don’t need immigration reform and a guest worker program for agriculture. In his opinion, paying more for labor will get you plenty of American workers.

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Immigration reform critical for Texas and the nation

Immigration reform critical for Texas and the nation

By Kenneth Dierschke
Texas Farm Bureau President

Immigration is the poster case for the dysfunction that grips our federal government.  A former Texas governor said not long ago that “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande,” and that as long as “moms and dads in Mexico couldn’t feed their children in their own country,” they would come to the U.S.  It will take decisive action to stop the flow of illegal immigration and decisive action is something that we can’t seem to manage.

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Let’s solve agriculture’s labor crisis

Let’s solve agriculture’s labor crisis

By Gene Hall

Agriculture’s shortage of labor is two things: a potentially devastating crisis for our home-grown food supply, and an opportunity to compromise post-election.

There I go again with that ugly “C word.” I can hear now all the spines snapping into rigidity as folks prepare to enforce their own version of ideological purity. 

Agricultural labor is all tangled up in the issue of immigration. Seldom has there been a more important issue that people absolutely refuse to be reasonable about. I ran in this space last week an excellent description of the agricultural labor crisis from American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. If we don’t find a way to get agricultural workers into the fields, dairy barns and livestock operations, crops and livestock will be grown in countries where there are workers.

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