Labor continues to be a challenge. Even as hog farm wages increased more than 21% from 2021 to 2022, farmers still can not find domestic labor.
Resource Guide to Establishing International Worker
Pork producers are currently facing a shortage of on-farm labor," explains Chad Leman, IPPA President. “One option that many producers—including myself—are starting to explore to combat this problem is sourcing labor from other countries. However, the process can be overwhelming. IPPA created this resource to provide guidance to our producers as they navigate these issues that may arise once the employees arrive on farm.”
Iowa State University economists found that the U.S. citizens and residents do not currently—and will not in the future—offset the need for foreign-born workers. In fact, one study found that shrinking rural populations, declining immigration to rural areas, and the rising median age of rural workers-combined with the strong national labor market conditions-have contributed to the pork industry’s labor shortage.
“After talking to farmers, it became evident that there are a variety of resources already available to help source employees from other countries, but the real challenge began once the employees got to the farm," says Jennifer Tirey, IPPA executive director. "IPPA wanted to provide a useful tool to help our farmers get these employees accumulated on the farm and make their transition as easy as possible.”
IPPA wants to do everything we can to strengthen our family farms and help them remain viable. That is why the association created “Establishing an International Worker”, a new resource guide for pork producers hiring international workers. The resource guide provides general information and guidance for how producers can support workers once they arrive on-site in Illinois.