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Will Immigration Policies Lower Rural Economic Development Opportunities?

Four presentations look at the rural development risks at 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting

U.S Agriculture currently is dependent on immigrant labor in specialized production and processing activities. As more and more farms and processing activities are moving to robotics the need for immigrant labor will be on a decline. Immigration policies may also change dramatically and suddenly. But how dependent is agriculture and processing on immigrants? And how far and how fast can machinization close the potential labor gap caused by immigration policy?

In the Track session, “Agricultural Labor Force, Immigration Policy, and Rural Development,” organized by the Community and Regional Economics Network (CRENET) and Senior Sections, four presentations will examine the immigration policy, the agricultural labor gap, agricultural imports, and rural development as key factors.

The organizer of the session, John Miranowski from Iowa State University says, “Immigration policy and enforcement have important implications for both the availability and stability of the rural workforce and expansion of value added activities in rural America. Further, government policies that create trade barriers impact both the health and productivity of the farm economy and the demand for processed agricultural products and thus rural economic growth.”

Over 1,600 participants are expected to attend the 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting, which will take place on August 5- August 7 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C.

If you are interested in attending the 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. fill out the “Press & Media Registration” form and send it to Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office. You can also learn more on our Annual Meeting Media Kit page.

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