Local Farmers Support Immigration Reform

By: Evan Gorman Email
By: Evan Gorman Email

BOWLING GREEN, Ky -- "The American worker, for some reason, does not want to participate in agriculture labor. Therefore, we have filled those holes with immigrant labor."

H.H. Barlow is a dairy farmer in Barren County. He, along with 50,000 others, produce enough milk to feed this entire country. Barlow says last month, 16% of their production was exported overseas.

"Therefore, I feel like I provide an essential food ingredient to the world. I'm very thankful for that opportunity, and very proud of that accomplishment. But one thing about it, I can't do that alone."

So Barlow, like many other farmers, hires migrant works to help with production.

"They do an outstanding job, they have a great attitude, and they work hard. We appreciate them, we want them to become identified."

Warren County farmer, Jacob Walton, also supports immigration reform. He says their farm has a number of immigrant works who he can always count on to get the job done.

"Trying to get people with a very good work ethic anymore is kind of like trying to find a needle and in hay stack. Nobody really wants to be out in the hot sun all day long."

Each of the farmers believe the immigrants should be recognized for the service they are providing to the world of agriculture production.

"Therefore, I think, we owe it to them and we owe it to our own economy to identify them, and try to make them a part of our society in a legal way."

Kentucky's agriculture industry generates $17 billion per year and employs more than 400,000 people.

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