It has been a tough winter here in Idaho, probably the toughest since the early 1990s. Our dairymen are muscling through it, just like they do with every other challenge that comes their way. In the midst of the struggle, one Idaho dairyman hit his breaking point and reached out to ask for our help in bringing awareness to his labor struggles. He, like so many other employers here in the state, just cannot find enough labor to keep positions filled.

His answer: We need dairymen and industry supporters to sign petitions we can deliver to our Idaho congressional offices highlighting the shortage and the desire within rural Idaho communities for real immigration reform.

The lack of labor is hampering investment in Idaho’s businesses and slowing growth within our state. That results in missed opportunities for existing and new companies, and ultimately the state as a whole. Idaho cannot continue to be prosperous without immigration reform. We are an agriculture state, and we are dependent on foreign-born labor.

We fully expect that the Trump Administration will need to fulfill its campaign promise of enhanced border security. Our hope is that once those measures are taken, a serious effort can begin in reforming our nation’s immigration policies. The success of agricultural states like Idaho will depend on it.

As we have stated before, immigration reform will always be a heavy lift. It is time for all “agribusiness” to become invested in securing sound, sensible, logical, and socially responsible immigration reform.

The members of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association are actively working to highlight the need and support for immigration reform with our congressional delegation. We encourage you, either individually or through your organization, to make a similar effort. You can find our petition by going to our website: www.idahodairymens.org or by clicking here. Our members have a goal of collecting at least 10,000 signatures, and they are challenging other Western states to do the same.

To comment, email your remarks to intel@hoards.com.

(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2017
January 23, 2017
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