May 31, 2017USApple meets with senior White House officials to discuss priorities
On Thursday, May 25, USApple Vice Chairman, Mark Boyer was joined by USApple President and CEO Jim Bair and Senior Vice President Diane Kurrle at the White House to meet with Ray Starling, President Trump’s Special Assistant for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance and Richard Chalkey, Associate Director of the National Economic Council.
“As a grower and Vice Chairman of USApple, I am encouraged by Thursday’s meeting at the White House and hope it signals one of many more to come,” said Boyer in a news release. “We thank Mr. Starling and his staff for taking the time to meet with us, sharing in an honest and open dialogue and genuinely listening to our perspective.”
“We, the apple industry represent one link in a long list of industries–and the communities and families they support–whose livelihood depends on labor and open trade. The apple industry cannot sustain itself, and our business will not survive long term unless we address labor reforms and future trade implications now,” continued Boyer.
During the White House meeting, the USApple leaders took the opportunity to discuss the great success of NAFTA for the apple industry, the critical need for an overhaul of the H-2A visa program, and the continued importance of adhering to science-based rules in regulating trade in apples.
A second-generation owner of Ridgetop Orchards LLC in Fishertown, Pennsylvania, Mark is keenly aware of the need for H2A reform. “Our industry demands a high amount of labor,” said Boyer. “Without labor, you cannot harvest a crop – and without a crop to harvest, you cannot sustain a farm. My family’s legacy is the farm. Labor is becoming more and more of a priority and we simply cannot ignore it.”