Sen. Ossoff Launches Inquiry Into USDA’s Farm Labor Survey Calculations

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Labor

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff has launched an inquiry into how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducts its Farm Labor Survey in Georgia.

Sen. Ossoff tours a South Georgia blueberry field during a visit in 2023.

Ossoff inquired with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), asking for more transparency in the Farm Labor Survey, which the Department of Labor uses to determine wages for H-2A workers in Georgia and across the Southeast.

He asked the USDA to provide information about how Georgia growers are asked to participate in the Farm Labor Survey and to provide resources for farmers to help them complete the Farm Labor Survey.

“Agriculture is Georgia’s No. 1 industry, and one of my top priorities is ensuring that Georgia’s farmers and farmworkers prosper,” Sen. Ossoff wrote. “For this reason, I write to request additional information about the data you gather about Georgia’s agricultural economy, how you deploy your limited resources to best inform the agricultural public and how we can work together to support Georgia’s growers as they provide important data to you.”

Georgia has seen substantial increases in the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) over the past two years.

Continued Support

Ossoff continues to be an advocate for Georgia’s farmers. He launched an inquiry with Customs and Border Protection in October, urging them to begin collecting assessments on imported pecans, which funds domestic programs aimed at boosting sales of American pecans and leveling the playing field for domestic producers of pecans.

In August, he and Marco Rubio (R-FL) led a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers urging U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to follow through on a promise by the Biden Administration to help Southeastern seasonal producers affected by unfair trade practices.

Ossoff also heard directly from farmers and growers in Georgia about the needs of their industries and how he can best fight for them in the Senate.Click here to read Ossoff’s inquiry.