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Local farmers have trouble finding workers from here or abroad

Jul 08, 2019 12:47 am
Chad Arnold reports in the Poughkeepsie Journal that Hudson Valley farmers are complaining about a lack of local workers, and about the federal government making it difficult to bring in migrant workers. New York's unemployment rate is historically low, and lawmakers in Washington D.C. are not making it easy to bring in migrant work on H-2 visas. "It's not the easiest program, you kind of need help with it," said Bob Fix, a fruit farmer and co-proprietor of the Fix Brothers Fruit Farm in Columbia County. Fix has brought H-2A workers to harvest apples, peaches, and cherries on his 200-acre farm for the last three years, and wants to bring in an 10 more foreign workers later this summer. Fix says he can't find American to pick fruit. "It's just work that Americans are not interested in doing anymore," he said. L.J. D'Arrigo, an immigration lawyer from Albany agreed. "Employers in the seasonal-sector cannot find U.S. workers to fill these roles because there are so many year round permanent positions available," D'Arrigo said. David Bova, vice president of Millbrook Vineyard and Winery in Dutchess County, said, "We have tried to get local workers to do this, but they're just not consistent." Read more about this story in the Poughkeepsie Journal.