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Communities across the country celebrate the 48th anniversary of National Agriculture Day

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 7:12 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The House has passed two bills that would deal with immigration issues. The first bill would make it easier for the so-called Dreamers, immigrants that came into this country before they were 19 years old, to gain full U.S. citizenship. The second bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for farm workers and their families who are currently in this country illegally. If passed in the Senate, that bill would some workers who currently here illegally, to get temporary legal status if they have worked at least 180 days in the past 2 years. The bill would also finally modernize the H-2A Guest Worker Program by making year-round H-2A visas available for the first time. Right now it’s very questionable if Republicans in the Senate would vote for those bills.

Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said he really likes the Farmers to Families Food Box Program but he wants to make it work for more hungry people. So he said last week he is going to hold a series of listening sessions to hear from those involved so he can re-fashion and re-design the program to provide the greatest amount of help to the most people. He also told the media there will be more funding coming for the Food Stamp Program and other nutrition related efforts.

The Biden Administration has decided that Farm Service Agency offices will be allowed to operate at 50% worker capacity—up from 25% because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Administration officials say they want to make those offices that serve farmers more available as farmers get into the planting season. FSA officials also say they are reaching out to farmers for more face to face meetings rather than the current use of phone calls and e-mails.

Today is the 48th anniversary of National Agriculture Day. The theme of this year’s event, which will be observed in classrooms and communities across the country is, “Food Brings Everyone to the Table.” Observances and celebrations include having 100 College Agriculture students deliver virtual messages to members of Congress on the importance of agriculture and our rural communities. In Wisconsin, agriculture has a 105 billion dollar economic impact on our state every year and accounts for almost 454 thousand jobs. We also ship $3.3 billion worth of our farm production overseas every year to 151 different countries.

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