ASI Urges Sheep Producers to Submit Comments on H-2A Proposal


The Department of Labor is proposing a rule to revise the H-2A guest worker program for sheep herding and in its current form it may be very detrimental to the American Sheep Industry. For many decades sheep producers have hired guest workers from south of the boarder to maintain a sustainable sheep industry. 

Northern Ag Network's Lane Nordlund recently interviewed Tyler Julian, a Wyoming Sheep Producers and Peter Orwick, Executive Director of the American Sheep Industry for more information on how these changes will affect sheep producers.  


Excerpt of the interview:

Tyler Julian: The company we use is western range, they were started in the 1930s. Then with the industrialization of the 1950s. And there was a real slump in American work and we continue to see that as people move into cities and away from a rural lifestyle. Right now the department of labor is going through regulation shifts that can very detrimental this program and to the American sheep industry.

Peter Orwick: the two points that everyone mentions when I visit with them is the formulation of the wage. Which is monthly but it is computed at a rate that double or triples the minimum monthly wage that we pay today. the second point that people look at, is the DOL do not consider sheep heading eligible if a herder spent 50{f2533179b7c7e7cbdbc11018732de14c82f3d44c9f1e829e9a046cc47141a2e6} of a year near ranch facilities or near a fence line. Which today is very difficult in today's sheep production. we've worked on it for over 50 years and we believe the sheep industry has the most legal and documented work force an any sector of American agriculture.

Tyler Julian: I think it comes down to culture. the clash of cultures here and there. there needs to be more dialog between workers and ranchers. especially the ranchers on the ground with these guys. We don't get bailouts like the auto industry and the market is not that great right now. and we have to find ways to be sustainable and this a practice that helps improve that. (Package 1:55 OC helps improve that) 

Lane Nordlund: And, the comment period ends soon on June 1st, Please visit for more information.

© Northern Ag Network 2015

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