... however, is much greater. The Western Growers Association, for example, has estimated that 80,000 acres of fruit and vegetable production moved out of California because of labor shortages. Perhaps the greatest evidence of the program's inadequacy is the large number of illegals involved in agricultural work.
The Senate immigration reform bill would improve the existing system, nearly tripling...
... Flesher even quotes Tom Nassif of Western Growers.
Despite the dire warnings, farm profits continue to rise. At the same time, there's no spike in farm laborer wages as one would expect if there were an actual shortage.
In only one sentence does Flesher hint that the growers' dire warnings are just an attempt to gain ever cheaper labor:
The industry insists its chronic labor shortage isn't a...
John McCain spoke to Western Growers on the 14th, at a meeting that he initiated (link). He still (of course) supports comprehensive immigration reform but he says it's not likely in 2010 due to it being an election year. He also said that passing AgJOBS is impossible to pass in 2010 as a standalone bill but only as a part of a CIR bill. And:
(Tom Nassif) said the Western Growers provided McCain...
Back on November 20, 2008, Western Growers issued this press release:
Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama today commending him on his election victory and encouraging him to choose Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to serve in his administration as Secretary of Department of Homeland Security.
...Indeed, over the years, Western Growers,...
... their press release (link):
Western Growers' Board of Directors has voted to endorse Arizona's John McCain in his bid to become the 44th president of the United States.
"Senator McCain has shown courage, determination and exceptional leadership skills in support of policies and principles important to Western Growers' members in Arizona and California," said Western Growers President and CEO...
According to Tim Chelling of the Western Growers Association, whose 3,000 members in California and Arizona generate half of the nation's fresh produce, "there's a quiet exodus going on already, tens of thousands of acres and millions of dollars in economic activity."
Can he be trusted? Even if he's telling the truth should we really care? Could the exodus be a bit louder so we could...
* Tyson Foods, Inc.
* Western Growers President And CEO Tom Nassif
* Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano
* California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
* National League Of Cities President And Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson
* Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
* MANA President And CEO Alma Morales Riojas
* U.S. Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce Board Of Directors Chairman David Lizarraga
From their press release:
Western Growers, one of California's largest and most prominent agricultural trade associations, today announced its endorsement of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for reelection to the United States Senate.
"Senator Feinstein has represented California with great integrity, honor and skill," said Tom Nassif, President and CEO of Western Growers. "She has been an...
... the Board of Directors of the Western Growers Association (source, cache). And, various Vesseys have been quote sources for decades (PDF file).
And, neither the LAT, nor the WaPo, nor the CSM noted this rather important connection. In fact, here's how the WaPo handled it:
"Today I have approximately 290 people working in the field," Jon Vessey said recently. Vessey runs an 8,000-acre winter...
... serious," says Tim Chelling of the Western Growers Association, whose members grow, pack, and ship half America's produce. "We are now talking of losing the production of key commodities to foreign competition. America's produce industry is facing a crisis."
Although the shortage was worsening before 9/11, it's now extreme, Mr. Chelling and the three California farmers say. Without an...