Daily Bread for 10.16.22: Our Dairyland Needs Dairy Workers

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 51. Sunrise is 7:10 AM and sunset 6:09 PM for 10h 59m 28s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 60.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1923, The Walt Disney Company is founded.

Leah Treidler reports Wisconsin dairy leaders call on US Senate to fix labor shortages by changing immigration policy (‘Officials say the Farm Workforce Modernization Act would also curb inflation by letting dairy farmers hire workers on H-2A visas’):

Wisconsin and national dairy leaders are pushing the U.S. Senate to cut food prices and fix the agricultural labor shortage by reforming immigrant labor policies.

In a press conference Thursday, leaders said the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bill already passed by the U.S. House and pending in the Senate, would fix labor shortages by letting them hire H-2A visa workers.

The H-2A program allows employers to bring in immigrants for temporary or seasonal agricultural jobs. As of now, the dairy industry is excluded from the program. 

That fuels labor shortages because there aren’t enough U.S. citizens to staff the nation’s dairy farms, said Brody Stapel, the board president of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative and a Wisconsin dairy farmer.

“There are not either enough local workers or enough willing workers to fill these labor-heavy jobs. Farmers have tried everything, and these are typically living wage jobs,” Stapel said. “Wisconsin alone has a lot to lose if we don’t solve this serious problem.” 

There are over 6,000 dairy farms in the state, he said. According to a University of Wisconsin-Madison study, dairy generates nearly half of Wisconsin’s agricultural revenue each year. Over 150,000 people work in the industry, making up 4.2 percent of the state’s total workforce.

With Wisconsin’s working population dropping, Stapel said the labor shortage is on track to get worse. Because of that, he said the Senate needs to change immigration policies.

The WISGOP, now nativist to its core, complains about illegal immigration while dairy farms go without workers. Nativism imposes the fixed and stagnant (a bias based on the accident of birthplace) and rejects the dynamic and productive (all peoples in productive free labor).

Nativism operates on the disordered principle of negative equality: better that all should have less than most should have more. 

Our dairyland depends on dairy workers. 

Conservative populism, now vocal in cities and towns across America, brays for labor restrictions that impoverish those very communities. 

By contrast both moral and productive, there is no better economic arrangement for daily living than free markets in capital, labor, and goods. 

Why Olympic Curling Stones Are So Expensive:

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