July X, 2018
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative X:
On behalf of the horse industry, which generates more than $122 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs more than 988,000 Americans, I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 6417, the AG and Legal Workforce Act of 2018. If you have already joined more than 40 of your House colleagues as a co-sponsor of this important bill, I urge you to encourage other House colleagues to join the growing list of lawmakers seeking to remedy the chronic labor shortages hindering American agriculture.
Importantly, the bill replaces the Department of Labor’s (DOL) broken H-2A program outright and establishes a new program administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) that creates incentives to hire foreign labor through legal channels. It also reduces financial and paperwork burdens on agricultural employers by discarding H-2A mandates such as free housing and transportation;
As a member of the horse industry, I am pleased that House lawmakers have clarified the definition “agricultural labor” to include those who work with horses in a variety of capacities. This provision will help create the regulatory and business certainty that many in the horse industry need to plan and staff their seasonal operations.
Thank you for your consideration of this very important issue for the equine sector and broader agriculture and livestock community. I look forward to continue working with you to support policies that grow the economy for the benefit of all Americans.