Caldwell, ID. – Farmers in southern Idaho are facing a shrinking workforce, and when looking to fill positions, these producers are turning more and more to the guest worker program.
The guest worker program is a federal work program that grants foreign nationals a visa for temporary agricultural work.
Applications from agricultural businesses seeking workers under the program increased by 32 percent over the last two years, and more producers are expected to employ these workers in the coming years.
Since employers are required to provide housing to workers under the guest worker program, a lack of housing across the region appears to be a significant factor in slowing the number of workers employed under the program.