Thursday, December 14, 2006

California: State Agriculture Must Develop Stable Workforce

Adressing a general session of the California Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Meeting, Victoria Bradshaw, secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, told the federation that one of the major challenges that lies ahead in the area of labor is developing a stable agricultural workforce in California and that, unless California's farmers and ranchers do not build careers and vocations in agriculture, they will be left with an aging workforce and not a replenishing workforce.
"Supply has been a major challenge in the last couple of years. One of the reasons agriculture is having a problem is not any different than a lot of other industries," Bradshaw said. "For agriculture though there is a major competitor out there and that is the expanding construction industry. It is growing at a very rapid pace, some in the infrastructure, some in residential housing, but there is a huge demand for labor and they are offering higher wages and long-term employment."

Another challenge she highlighted is training people to work in agriculture. Unless California's farmers and ranchers do not build careers and vocations in agriculture, Bradshaw said, they will be left with an aging workforce and not a replenishing workforce.
Source: California Farm Bureau Federation News Release (December 13, 2006)

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