Farm Progress

Farmer poll: Northeast farmers contend undocumented farm workers not needed

Poll of 97 Northeast farmers at New York Farm Show refuted claim that undocumented farm workers are necessary for U.S. agriculture.

John Vogel

February 24, 2017

1 Min Read
WEIGHING IN: Farmers attending New York Farm Show shared their opinions on ag and national issues.

During opening day of the New York Farm Show, 97 farmers offered their opinions in American Agriculturist’s annual farmer poll. At least one of the cumulated results of the poll proved surprising.

The lead poll question was expected to be the most controversial: “What should the Trump administration fix first?” Farmers were to rank climate change, the federal deficit, federal deregulation, health care, immigration, tax reform, the economy and terrorism.

The top four were:
1. economy
2. federal deregulation
3. terrorism
4. immigration

Health care came next. Climate change had the lowest priority.

About those undocumented workers
The question was: “Are undocumented farm workers necessary for U.S. farms? Many of those responding were dairy and value-added produce farmers — prime employers of foreign workers.

And the poll result was:
• 68% indicated undocumented workers not needed
• 18% undecided
• 15% said undocumented workers necessary

Poll results for all three days of the Syracuse show will be tabulated after the show. Only farmer responses are included.

About the Author(s)

John Vogel

Editor, American Agriculturist

For more than 38 years, John Vogel has been a Farm Progress editor writing for farmers from the Dakota prairies to the Eastern shores. Since 1985, he's been the editor of American Agriculturist – successor of three other Northeast magazines.

Raised on a grain and beef farm, he double-majored in Animal Science and Ag Journalism at Iowa State. His passion for helping farmers and farm management skills led to his family farm's first 209-bushel corn yield average in 1989.

John's personal and professional missions are an integral part of American Agriculturist's mission: To anticipate and explore tomorrow's farming needs and encourage positive change to keep family, profit and pride in farming.

John co-founded Pennsylvania Farm Link, a non-profit dedicated to helping young farmers start farming. It was responsible for creating three innovative state-supported low-interest loan programs and two "Farms for the Future" conferences.

His publications have received countless awards, including the 2000 Folio "Gold Award" for editorial excellence, the 2001 and 2008 National Association of Ag Journalists' Mackiewicz Award, several American Agricultural Editors' "Oscars" plus many ag media awards from the New York State Agricultural Society.

Vogel is a three-time winner of the Northeast Farm Communicators' Farm Communicator of the Year award. He's a National 4-H Foundation Distinguished Alumni and an honorary member of Alpha Zeta, and board member of Christian Farmers Outreach.

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