Friday, May 11, 2018

Milk Prices Double? Lack of Immigrant Farm worker Visa's will kill jobs, close 7,000 Dairy Farms!

Stopping all Immigrant Labor Bad for Dairy State Farmers: This ominous headline caught my attention and should do the same for Scott Walker and the Republican legislature, who will shamelessly go back to farmers asking for their vote in November. From what I hear, visa's are impossible to get now, for farming and the tourism industry:

Half of all workers on U.S. dairy farms are immigrants, and the damage from losing those workers would extend far beyond the farms, nearly doubling retail milk prices and costing the total U.S. economy more than $32 billion, according to a new report commissioned by the National Milk Producers Federation. One-third of all U.S. dairy farms employ foreign-born workers, and that those farms produce nearly 80 percent of the nation’s milk.

The survey results do not distinguish between documented and undocumented foreign-born workers ... 80 percent of dairy farms surveyed continue to hire immigrants. The report concluded that a total loss of immigrant labor would reduce the size of both the U.S. dairy herd and the nation’s milk production by nearly a quarter. More than 7,000 dairy farms would close, it added.

It concluded that a complete loss of immigrant labor could cause the loss of one-in-six dairy farms and cut U.S. economic output by $32.1 billion, resulting in 208,000 fewer jobs nationwide. Some 77,000 of the lost jobs would be on dairy farms.

Retail milk prices, the report said, would increase 90 percent if all immigrant labor was lost. That would drive the supermarket price of a gallon of milk, which averaged $3.37 in June, to approximately $6.40.

Researchers estimated that more than a third of the total economic damage from losing all immigrant labor on dairy farms would be from reduced farm milk sales. The rest would come from losses in employee compensation, reduced purchases by farm employees and lost sales to businesses that support dairy farms, such as feed and equipment dealers.

Likewise, milk sales support many more jobs beyond the farm than on the farm. As a result, while a total loss of immigrant labor on dairy farms would mean 76,968 fewer people working on farms, it would also mean the loss of 131,240 jobs outside the farm.

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