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Budd, Tillis, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Provide Relief for American Farmers

Mar 1, 2024 | Agriculture, News, Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — Today, Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) helped introduce the Supporting Farm Operations Act alongside Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC).

The legislation would revert the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) to the December 2023 rate through the end of the 2025 growing season.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Roger Marshall (R-KS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Tim Scott (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).

Senator Budd said in a statement:

“I am proud to join with Senator Tillis to introduce legislation that would offer desperately needed relief to North Carolina’s growers and producers. The H-2A program’s Adverse Effective Wage Rate’s exponential, year-over-year growth squeezes farmers, raises food costs, and hurts the international competitiveness of American produce. Safeguarding our food supply is critical to our national security, and this commonsense bill would provide more support to those who put food on our tables.” 

Senator Tillis said:

“With net farm income projected to decrease by more than 25% this year, farmers in North Carolina and across the country are struggling to make their planting decisions for this crop season. The H-2A program has long been an option of last resort for farmers to hire legal and reliable workers to plant, grow, and harvest their crops; however, the wage rate farmers are required to pay by bureaucrats in Washington has become unsustainable.”

The Supporting Farm Operations Act is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, North Carolina Farm Bureau, North Carolina Agribusiness Council, North Carolina SweetPotato Commission, U.S. Tobacco Cooperative, North Carolina Growers Association, Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina, North Carolina Vegetable Growers Association, North Carolina Watermelon Association, North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs, North Carolina Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association, North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, North Carolina Christmas Tree Association, Eastern North Carolina Christmas Tree Association, North Carolina Green Industry International, New England Farmers Union, Fresh Produce Association, AmericanHort, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, USApple, U.S. SweetPotato Council, and Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.


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