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How Dependent is the United States on the Guest Worker Program?

AAEA member research featured in Choices Magazine’s new theme

The H-2A program gives American farmers a chance to hire workers from other countries legally for a temporary timeframe. With labor shortages happening across the country, it’s an easy choice when workers are brought to you, but with the raise in minimum wage, is H-2A worth it?

In a new theme in AAEA’s e-magazine, Choices, “The Role of Guest Workers in U.S. Agriculture“, four papers look into how much the United States depends on the H-2A program, how the program has been used among growers, and give specific industry examples of the programs importance.

The theme organizer, Maria Bampasidou from Louisiana State University says, “The last years we see an increased reliance on guest-worker programs to fill seasonal and temporary jobs in U.S. agriculture. Guest-worker programs became more of a focal point in the agenda of the last two administrations, with policies trying to work around the bureaucracy of the application, H-2A regulations that limit the period of stay for guest-workers, etc. In our theme, we wanted to document the importance of the program and the four papers tackle items that all together tell the story of how dependent we are on the program.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview with Maria Bampasidou, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190