Shutdown Effects Felt on LI Farms

(Photo by Denise Civiletti via RiverheadLOCAL)

Farmers on Long Island are well accustomed to facing lengthy delays while waiting for the government to process visas for the seasonal workers they employ through the H2A temporary agricultural worker program. Now, with the government shutdown, they fear even more delays and the impact that may have on farm operations, reports RiverheadLOCAL’s Denise Civiletti.

Long Island Farm Bureau administrative director Rob Carpenter tells her that this is the time when farmers normally apply for laborers through the H2A visa program.

The H2A applications have to be made and processed now in order for workers to arrive at local farms by early spring.

The federal Department of Labor processes the H2A paperwork. Since funding has already been appropriated for that agency through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, it should not be impacted by the shutdown. However, the applications are also subject to review by staff at the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Both of those agencies are impacted by the shutdown.

Go to RiverheadLOCAL to read what Farm Bureau president Karl Novak said could happen if there is “any additional delay due to the shutdown.”

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