The Southern Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions seems to have a lot to say even though he does not represent a border state in our Union and lives in the State of Alabama that has only 4% Latin population. Many of the Latinos living in Alabama are indeed Americans with Latin backgrounds, but the few undocumented immigrants in the State of Alabama have helped Alabama’s agricultural output by the billions providing more non-farm labor jobs to native-born American workers.
There are 48,000 people in Alabama who call themselves farmers, and for generations those few families have dedicated their lives to creating a $4.7 billion business — Alabama’s largest.
Economic think tank, CATO Institute writes:
“According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are 3.1 related jobs off the farm for every job on the farm. Eliminating the on-farm jobs would put at risk many more jobs paying middle-class wages and employing native-born American workers.”
Does Jeff Sessions know how much the agricultural industry depends on immigrant ag labor?
When will Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA) communicate to the their members that Jeff Session is one of the most restrictionist and protectionist southern Republicans in our Union? Where is Rogers S Rocky Top Farm at?
What about these other Alabama farms?
If Sessions is so concerned about jobs (even though immigrant labor provides more jobs), why doesn’t he reduce farm subsidies and create jobs from the $40 million given to these Alabama agricultural companies? Some reasons to reduce welfare for farmers can be read here.
Does Sessions have any idea the following:
- The cattle industry is one of Alabama’s largest agricultural products in terms of cash income?
- Agriculture reaches far beyond the farm gate. Alabama’s agribusiness industries account for 476,000 jobs with annual earnings of more than $9 billion — that’s 21% of the state’s workforce.
- Indeed, 85% of all jobs created by agriculture are not on the farm at all!
- Industries account for more than $43 billion or 22% of the state’s direct output — more than any other industry.
Why doesn’t Jeff Sessions reduce the millions and millions of Alabama farm subsidy recipients that totaled $45,003,000 in 2011?
(* ownership information available)
|Location||Subtotal, Farming Subsidies
|1||Devaney Brothers Farms ∗||Madison, AL 35756||$262,222|
|2||Martin Farm ∗||Courtland, AL 35618||$245,896|
|3||Haney Farms ∗||Athens, AL 35611||$244,592|
|4||Triple R Farms ∗||Benton, AL 36785||$228,745|
|5||Liikatchka Plantation General Par ∗||Eufaula, AL 36027||$208,290|
|6||Underwood Farms ∗||Leighton, AL 35646||$179,228|
|7||Newby Farms ∗||Athens, AL 35613||$170,700|
|8||Darden Bridgeforth And Sons ∗||Tanner, AL 35671||$168,436|
|9||Hamilton Farms ∗||Hillsboro, AL 35643||$162,474|
|10||Blythe Cotton Company ∗||Town Creek, AL 35672||$161,936|
|11||Shaw Farms ∗||Tanner, AL 35671||$156,821|
|12||Westover Planting Co ∗||Eufaula, AL 36027||$154,816|
|13||Isbell Farms ∗||Muscle Shoals, AL 35662||$151,536|
|14||Driskell Cotton Farms ∗||Grand Bay, AL 36541||$149,550|
|15||Moravec St Elmo Farms ∗||Saint Elmo, AL 36568||$145,195|
|16||Ward Farms ∗||Atmore, AL 36502||$136,267|
|17||Helton Brothers Farm ∗||Atmore, AL 36504||$133,884|
|18||J B Hain Co ∗||Sardis, AL 36775||$131,215|
|19||Mullek Farms ∗||Robertsdale, AL 36567||$126,778|
|20||Cannon Farms ∗||Theodore, AL 36590||$126,207|
In 2011, Alabama’s farmers said that without the immigrant farm labor they depend on, they will soon be forced out of business. The exodus of immigrants has already created a labor shortage and they do not want to lose their family farms. Like many other states, undocumented workers are the backbone of Alabama’s farming industry. Alabama farmers have spoken out saying immigrants are the only ones willing to do this kind of back-breaking farm field labor.
Farmers and state officials have said that some produce was left to rot in the field last year because there weren’t enough workers to help with the harvest.Farmers have claimed not enough U.S. citizens want the jobs, but some said the issue is actually that producers won’t offer a high enough wage to attract legal workers.
Brett Hall, Alabama’s deputy agriculture commissioner, said nurseries across south Alabama are trying to find workers to fill about 2,000 jobs ahead of the spring growing season. Many nursery growers are staffing job fairs in hopes of attracting employees, he said.