On November 21, 2019 at Blue Ridge Community College, AgHC held an agricultural workshop focusing on labor and the current challenges and options in the Ag community.
After breakfast, Executive Director Mark Williams gave an introduction of the day's events.
First up was Sheriff Lowell Griffin who spoke about Existing Workers & Law Enforcement, pointing out the position of liason Stephanie Barbosa who officially joined the department last month to help build trust within the Latinx and immigrant community.
A panel consisting of Eric Edney from NC Commerce Department, Shanda Bedoian from Blue Ridge Community College, Julia Matthews from St. Gerard House and Commissioner Rebecca McCall, then addressed Domestic Options to Consider. Warney Alati, a native of Guam, discussed his experience working locally.
Next, NC Farm Bureau National Legislative Director Linda Andrews presented a Powerpoint showing facts and figures around the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the legislative perspective thereof.
After a break, a panel including Eric Edney and Linda Adams along with Richard Staton of Staton Farms, Mike Pack of M&M Berry Farm gave information and related personal experience regarding H-2A, including costs, perceptions and realities.
Henderson County Building Inspection Director and Mike Cooper of Cooper Construction provided further insight into Labor Housing.
Attendees were free to ask questions throughout and get information from the presenters during breaks. Mark Williams closed up the program by summing up the information and encouraging the anyone seeking more information contact him at the AgHC Office.