Robots are replacing unskilled migrants in American farm jobs, but farmers still want skilled migrants to operate the robots, says the president of a major farm advocacy group.
“While advances in robotics have replaced some farm jobs, we need skilled employees to manage that equipment,” said Zippy Duvall, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a February 3 post on the groups’ website, he wrote:
U.S. agriculture needs a flexible guest-worker program that allows contract and at-will employment options that work for both seasonal and year-round needs on the farm. We also need to make sure wage requirements take into account the economic conditions of the agriculture industry and enable farms to remain viable.
The “guest worker” program cited by Duvall refers to the H-2A program. Democrats are signaling they are will expand it — if farmers persuade GOP legislators to be OK on an amnesty to lock in Democratic political and economic dominance for many years.