By Tim Kowols
Dairy farmers across the country are still expressing their concern about what could happen to their immigrant workforce if reforms are not enacted. According to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, more than half of dairy farm workers nationally are immigrants at a time when rural populations are dropping. With changes to federal immigration policies looming, Haberli Farms owner and DoorCountyDailyNews.com Ag Advisory Board member Joe Haberli hopes considerations are made so he and other farmers can keep their trained employees from spending thousands of dollars in lawyer fees trying to become naturalized or getting deported.
Senator Ron Johnson introduced a state-run guest worker program in May allowing states to manage visas and allocate them to industries like agriculture in need of help; an approach Haberli calls a Band-Aid for a bigger problem.