WASHINGTON, December 7, 2022—IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., and IDFA member leaders this morning detailed the urgent business needs facing the dairy processing industry due a chronic shortage of workers on dairy farms, in manufacturing facilities, and throughout the dairy supply chain. 

Dykes, David Ahlem, Chair of the IDFA Executive Council and CEO & President of Hilmar Cheese Company (Hilmar, Calif.), and Heather Draper, Director on the IDFA Ice Cream Segment Board and Director of The Ice Cream Club (Boynton Beach, Fla.) called on members of Congress to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bill that would streamline and improve the H-2A guestworker visa program—as a means to help alleviate labor shortages on the dairy industry and other food sectors.

The dairy industry leaders also discussed new polling from Morning Consult demonstrating a significant majority of Americans support passing bipartisan immigration reform to help lower food prices. As noted by IDFA, polling shows that four-in-five U.S. voters (82%) support Republicans and Democrats in Congress working together to lower food prices through comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate is now considering taking up the Farm Workforce Modernization Act after it twice passed the House of Representatives. IDFA considers the bill a commonsense, bipartisan solution that will help ensure a secure, reliable labor force for our agriculture and food industry. IDFA believes the bill would lower food costs while also supporting our nation’s border security and providing bipartisan solutions for undocumented immigrants working in food and agriculture in the United States.  

# # #

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.