Farm Labor Shortages

Since the first settlers’ arrival, agriculture has been an essential part of the American experience, providing food, fiber, and fuel for the nation. In 2020, agriculture, fishing, and forestry contributed more than $175 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and employed 2.3 million workers. Despite its importance, the U.S. agricultural workforce has steadily shrunk over the past 70 years. Causes of this decline include the heavy physical demand of the work, volatile commodity pricing, changes in immigration policy, unequal work-life balance, and technological advancements.