Free college for all will solve the manual labor crisis.
The Wall Street Journal reported in August 2015 that fruit and vegetable output is falling in the United States by more than $3 billion annually because farmers can’t keep enough workers in the fields. And that is only the beginning.
Crops rot on the vine, processing facilities are forced to cut their operating hours, family farms can’t take full advantage of their resources — all because of a persistent shortage of farm labor.
“It’s just really, really hard to find people,” said Travis Choat, owner of an irrigated farming and feedlot operation outside Terry.
He said that on average, despite offering more than $11.50 per hour, free housing, free beef and a gasoline allowance, he’s experienced a 300 percent annual turnover rate on the local people he has hired.
“We’ve offered the upper end of what we believe we can afford and still stay in business,” Choat said of his attempts to hire local employees. “We end up using day work and other things to try and get by. This is our limiting factor.”
Despite a U.S. Department of Labor report that 7.9 million Americans are available for work but remain unemployed and the average wage for farm labor jobs is now surpassing $11.60 an hour, the amount of available farm labor in the country remains in short supply.[…]
One of these is USA Farm Labor Inc.
Over the past 13 years, the North Carolina-based company has brought thousands of seasonal ag workers from South African to the United States. The single most common destination for these workers are small family farms looking for one to three people to help them get the work done — and business is booming.
“Many of our clients in North Dakota and Montana are just a husband-and-wife operation,” said Manuel Fick, chief executive officer of USA Farm Labor. “Maybe they have a son or daughter who works on the farm, or maybe their kids are going to college wanting to do something different. They’ll contact us for help getting one or two South Africans, and with that they can cope.”