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Farmers rally in D.C. for immigration reform

Published Oct. 31, 2013 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Knipp, 2nd from left, with other farmers speaking to Congressman Bob Latta about immigration reform.

by Callie Wells

Daryl Knipp, a produce farmer and an Ohio Farm Bureau trustee, joined nearly 60 other farmers and agricultural leaders from 14 states in Washington, D.C. this week to advocate for immigration reform.

Along with more than 600 business leaders participating in the Americans for Reform immigration fly-in event, Knipp and the other Farm Bureau members spent the day on Capitol Hill talking with their congressional representatives about their need for a reliable workforce. American Farm Bureau is urging Congress to pass immigration reform this year.

Here are a few comments from Knipp about the fly-in and immigration reform:

I attended the immigration fly-in because I felt that, and was hopeful that, the time was right that we could move something forward in Congress on immigration reform. An adequate supply of workers has always been a challenge for people in the vegetable and fruit industry. Those industries that are highly hand labor intensive.

I kind of felt it was my responsibility when I was asked to go and participate on behalf of Ohio Farm Bureau to be the voice of those of us in the industry that are engaged with seasonal agriculture workers. My operation has changed recently. Iím not nearly involved as much with workers as I was. I kind of restructured a little bit, but friends of mine in the produce industry that have hired for years and years a lot of workers are just each year finding it more of a challenge to have an adequate supply of people.

I really felt that the legislators heard the message, understood the message, understand the challenge that we face in producing fruits and vegetables that require a lot of labor and the problems weíre having. The sense that itís going to get dealt with right away - Iím a little less than optimistic because of some of the challenges going on in our government at this point in time.

You can ask your representative to end inaction on immigration reform here.

Also, check out other coverage of the fly-in from Toledo ABC TV affiliate and Columbus Dispatch.

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Callie Wells is a communications specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau.



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