Sweet Potato Farmers express concerns to U.S. Rep. Nunnelee at lunch meeting in Vardaman

Sweet Potato farmers asked U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee to help ease restrictions within the H-2A foreign worker program, stave off more funding cuts to agriculture and bring more consistency to government regulation of the industry in a meeting last Thursday at Penick Produce in Vardaman.

Nunnelee and members of his staff had lunch in Vardaman to discuss some of the issues troubling local farmers. First up in the discussion was the H-2A foreign worker program.

“I can’t go to a farm and not hear about H-2A labor and how hard it is to get labor,” said Benny Graves, secretary of the Sweet Potato Council. “It’s like the federal government doesn’t want us to have an H-2A worker. We’ve been using that program for a number of years, but it’s getting more and more difficult.”

Nunnelee asked if farmers have noticed a particular change in the process or if it’s just taking longer.

Calhoun County Journal