posted on July 13, 2012 15:29
Lack of labor was the focus of the agricultural round table that happened in Genesee County Friday.
Congresswoman Kathy Hochul stopped by WBTA Studios to debrief after her meeting with local farmers.
The agricultural meeting touched on the upcoming expiration of the Farm Bill, but was mainly focused on the need for farm workers.
Hochul said farmers were concerned about the lack of interest people have in the farming profession, which makes it harder to find farmhands.
“We have legal refugee communities that are in Buffalo and Rochester that are being settled there. For example I met some people from Burma and they had all worked on farms for all their lives and in order to be on the path to citizenship they have to have a job for five years so perhaps there is an opportunity to pair up some of these people if they have the transportation or want to live on one of the farms to work seasonally at least and use the skills they brought from their country and maybe that will match the needs of our farmers,” said Hochul.
Hochul also suggested young people be educated in school about farming as a career option.
The Farm Bill that provides assistance for farmers a number of ways its set to expire at the end of September.
Hochul said she will be urging for a decision to be reached on the bill before it lapses.