The Kansas Department of Agriculture will host a free informational webinar focused on updates to the H–2A guest worker program including CDL requirements for custom harvesting and farm employees. The webinar will take place virtually on April 7 at 7 p.m.

This educational webinar will information on current legislation concerning the U.S. Department of Labor’s H–2A program for temporary agricultural employment of foreign workers via the Farm Worker Modernization Act. The webinar also will provide insight on the process and necessary documentation needed for obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License and the differences between a CDL and farm vehicle operations. The final piece of the webinar will feature a facilitated discussion allowing participants to ask questions and provide comments on issues concerning the H–2A program.

Many custom operations and grain producers struggle to find local skilled labor to fill temporary planting, harvesting and transportation jobs. The H–2A program offers a solution to finding those employees from outside the United States who are willing to fill those temporary positions.

Highlights will include updates from industry experts on these topics:

  • Representatives from the National Council of Agricultural Employers will be on hand to provide updates related to the Farm Worker Modernization Act and the impacts it could have on H–2A program users.

  • Mandi Sieren, Operations Manager with U.S. Custom Harvesters, will brief participants on the services offered through the organization.

  • Dixie Cravens, Foreign Labor Certification Manager, and Wendy Inzunza, State Monitor Advocate with the Kansas Department of Commerce, will provide a brief overview of the programs and services offered through Kansas Workforce Centers.

  • Kent Selk, Drivers Services Director, and Brian Brunt, Kansas state CDL Coordinator, with the Kansas Department of Revenue will provide information related to requirements for CDL and farm vehicle operations.

To participate in the webinar, click the registration link at www.agriculture.ks.gov/Workforce.

The Kansas Ag Growth Strategy project has identified federal immigration reform, specifically visas for agricultural workers, as a high priority outcome for several critical ag sectors. Developing a strong agricultural workforce is key to furthering KDA’s mission to providing an environment that enhances and encourages economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy. For more information contact Russell Plaschka, KDA ag business development and workforce program manager, at Russell.Plaschka@ks.gov or 785-564-7466.

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