Home News Ag Economics $50 M to Support Farmworkers and Ag Employers, California Receives $4.4 M

$50 M to Support Farmworkers and Ag Employers, California Receives $4.4 M

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $50 million to 141 awardees in 40 states and Puerto Rico, through the Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program (FLSP Program), reaching 177 unique agricultural operations and over 11,000 workers. The awards will help improve the resiliency of the U.S. food supply chain by addressing agriculture labor challenges and instability, strengthen protections for farmworkers, and expand legal pathways for labor migration. This program delivers on a commitment made as part of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection and furthers the Administration’s commitment to a regional approach to migration in the hemisphere.

“These awards will largely support small and mid-sized farms to ensure they can hire and retain the workers they need to be competitive in the market, while also lifting up rural communities across the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Farmworkers make an incredibly important contribution to food and agriculture and ensure we have food on our tables every day. Improving working conditions and quality of life for farmworkers, both U.S. based workers and those that come to our country to work, is one key step in building a stronger, more resilient food supply chain. The Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program demonstrates the Biden Administration’s commitment to supporting employers and farmworkers alike.”

USDA announced the FLSP Program in September 2023, in coordination with other federal agencies, to help address workforce needs in agriculture; promote a safe and healthy work environment, as well as ethical recruitment for farmworkers; and support lawful migration pathways for workers, including expansion of labor pathways for workers from Northern Central America, through the H-2A visa program. FLSP was designed with significant input from immigration, labor, and agricultural stakeholders – informed by the experiences of farmworkers and farmers themselves.

The FLSP Program grants will support a range of required and elective supplemental commitments to expand benefits and protections for all employees. The California recipients are as follows:

  1. Faridhkot Farms, Fresno County — $200,000 for training modules to cover workplace safety, equipment handling, and emergency response, complemented by regular health screenings for early identification of occupational health issues.
  2. Drummond Ranch, Los Angeles County — $1,200,000 to improve training, development and retention of workers by enhancing their needed skill sets and by also creating an employee housing initiative as well as working to improve compensation and worker benefits.
  3. Oya Organics, San Benito County — $200,000 for hiring, onboarding, recruitment/consulting fees, direct labor costs for employees, administrative costs for compliance with program commitments, and housing, rent and maintenance costs.
  4. AgriCareIncTulare County — $400,000 to support ongoing efforts to benefit a growing pool of employees with new opportunities for professional growth in the agricultural industry. This investment will also allow AgriCare to onboard 75 additional hires.
  5. Alexandre Dairy, Del Norte County — $600,000 to help stabilize current labor shortages with a projected 107 new hires, which would help safeguard the company’s agricultural supply chain.
  6. Cabrera Contracting Inc, Monterey County — $720,000 to bolster its workforce and further ongoing efforts to provide employees with training on emergency plans and procedures.
  7. Healthy Acres LLC, Ventura County — $100,000 to address workforce stability, regulatory compliance, and employee welfare challenges.
  8. JSM Organics Inc, Santa Cruz County — $200,000 for employee recruitment and retention.
  9. JVKS Harvest Solutions LLC, Monterey County — $720,000 to to improve food options for H-2A employees; provide employees digital access to their work and training experience to support career advancement; and modernize training for frontline leaders to include skills like effective communication and conflict resolution.
  10. King Bee Apiarys, Kern County — $100,000 to help address immediate labor needs.

View the complete list of awardees.

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