Sunday, September 8, 2013

Local farm labor shortage, an immigration policy issue

Half Moon Bay Review/Julia Reis, 9/5/13.  "Speier harvests opinion on Coastside farm tour", Congresswoman discusses farm, immigration bills.

Brussels sprouts from Giusti Farms
"U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier spent the afternoon of Aug. 28 learning about organic produce and agricultural production on the Coastside during a tour of several local farms.

Speier then met with several local farmers at the Farm Bureau on Main Street. She opened the meeting by saying she wanted to know how she could be helpful to them. They spent an hour discussing issues relating to the immigration bill and farm bill, much of which revolved around a lack of qualified workers to tend to local crops. According to the California Farm Bureau Federation, 61 percent of farmers had a labor shortage in California last year, and farmers present at last week’s meeting vouched for the scale of the problem.

Speier then went on a tour of four Half Moon Bay farms. She visited agricultural operations owned by John Giusti, David Lea, John Muller and Rocket Farms. Giusti took Speier out to the Brussels sprouts fields and showed her the processing and packaging area. Giusti said he struggled to harvest his green bean crop this year as he was only able to get a crew of five people to handpick the beans when he usually gets 15. He fell behind on picking and switched to a mechanical harvest as a result, which he says is “not as efficient” as handpicking."   Read article.

Related -  RYOT News/San JoseMercury News/ Aaron Kinney, 11/13/12. "Half Moon Bay farmers John Giusti and David Lea once sold about 80 percent of their sprouts to the frozen market. But in the past decade the ratio has flipped, and they now sell that much or more of their crop fresh. Most of the sprouts are packed in Salinas, Calif., and trucked east. The rest make their way to grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants closer to their farms."

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Jackie Spier and Jerry Hill are the only 2 people in Government who sit down and talk to people and get things done.

Our own City Council will not even return an email or phone call.

The Local Libertarian said...

I think the Mexican farm laborers are some of the hardest working people on the planet.

Its a noble endeavor on their part. They break their backs to put food on our tables. Its right up there some where along the lines of a mothers love.

They are paid pittance. Almost selfless. If they are willing to do the hard work to make the basics of life work, they deserve the immigration they so desire.

Anonymous said...

In the upcoming movie, the role of Local Lib will be played by the late Charlton "Moses" Heston.

The Local Libertarian said...

Speaking of Charlton Heston. I much like him in the role of Judah Ben-hur

Despite all personal self interest, one should always help those who seek it.

Anonymous said...

Nah, I see you with the beard, tall and commanding on a hillside, parting the Red Sea, hearing voices, in a sheet.