WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema hosted a meeting with the United Dairymen of Arizona to discuss solutions to ongoing workforce shortages negatively impacting Arizona’s agricultural industry.
“Arizona dairy farmers power our economy and provide for families across our state. We’re working with the United Dairymen of Arizona to identify and deliver real solutions addressing workforce shortages so farmers can continue to do their jobs and feed Arizonans,” said Sinema.
During the meeting, Sinema spoke with the United Dairymen of Arizona about how the significant labor shortage is impacting their industry. Sinema shared her concerns about federal policies that exclude the dairy industry from hiring workers through the H-2A agricultural worker program. This exclusion prevents dairy farmers from fully staffing their operations, which threatens our food supply and increases prices for Arizona families.
Sinema also pointed to the recent introduction of her bipartisan Asylum Seeker Work Reauthorization Act – legislation she introduced with Republican Senator Susan Collins (Maine) streamlining employment authorization for asylum seekers who enter the United States at a port of entry – as a commonsense solution that would help ease ongoing labor challenges.
Sinema recently met with the Arizona Farm Bureau, where she had conversations with Arizona farmers, ranchers, and agricultural leaders about the challenges and opportunities facing their industry – including Arizona’s water supply and future, the current border and immigration system, and labor shortages. Last year, the Arizona Farm Bureau presented Sinema with the “Friend of the Farm Bureau” award – a distinction she has now earned three times for her work supporting Arizona’s agriculture and, most recently, securing historic investments for drought resilience.