Last month, USDA announced that up to $65 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding is available to support agricultural employers in implementing robust labor standards to promote a safe, healthy work environment for both U.S. workers and workers hired from northern Central American countries under the seasonal H-2A visa program. The program is funded by the Farm Service Agency and will be administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Farm Production and Conservation Business Center.
The program aims to improve the resiliency of our food and agricultural supply chain by
- driving U.S. economic recovery and safeguarding the domestic food supply by addressing current labor shortages in agriculture;
- reducing irregular migration from northern Central America through the expansion of regular pathways; and
- improving working conditions for all farmworkers.
Eligible employers include the following:
- Fixed-site employers, joint employers, agricultural associations, and H-2A labor contractors
- Domestic agricultural employers who anticipate meeting all Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security regulatory requirements for the H-2A program
- Employers who commit to fulfilling all baseline requirements as well as any supplemental commitments that entail additive worker benefits and protections
Applications for the program must be received on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 28, 2023. More information about eligibility, the application process, and award amounts can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/flsp.
This article was written by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.