Immigration and Farm Labor  

Farm labor

Event Date

Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom, UC Davis Law School  

Immigration and Farm Labor  

Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom, UC Davis Law School  

Friday, March 17, 2023 


This conference examines immigration and farm labor issues in California and US agriculture. Labor-intensive fruit and vegetable crops are almost 85 percent of California’s crop sales, the H-2A guest worker program is expanding, and higher labor costs are spurring both labor-saving innovation and imports. 


The first session explores prospects for immigration reform generally and in agriculture, the second deals with farm worker characteristics and the H-2A program, and the third deals with technology, trade, and other issues affecting farm workers and the farm labor market. 


There is no charge to participate, but you must register before Friday March 3, 2023 at (you may have to copy and paste the link: 


We are grateful for the support of the ARE and the Gifford Center, the ALRB, and the Giannini, Rosenberg, and Walmart Foundations.  For further information, contact Philip Martin, 




8:15AM Check-in and Breakfast 


8:45AM Welcome, Philip Martin, UC Davis ARE, Helen Dillard, CAES 


9:00AM Immigration and Agriculture (20 and 10 minutes)  

Chair: Philip Martin, UC Davis  

What’s next for immigration reform? Kevin Johnson, UC Davis 

Immigration policy and agriculture, Michael Marsh, NCAE 

Discussants: Sebastian Sanchez, EDD, Cynthia Rice, CLRA 


 10:15AM Break 


10:30AM Farm Workers in the 2020s (20 and 10 minutes) 

Chair: Rachael Goodhue, UC Davis 

NAWS: settled Mexican-born workers, Daniel Carroll, DOL*  

Who uses H-2As? Skyler Simnitt, ERS 

Discussants: Roman Diaz, EDD, Ruben Lugo, DOL, Julia Montgomery, ALRB 


11:45AM Lunch 


12:45PM Karen Ross and Christine Birdsong, CDFA 


1:15PM Futures: Machines, Migrants, and Imports (20 and 10 minutes)   

Chair: Tim Beatty, UC Davis   

Overview, Philip Martin, UC Davis 

                       Technology, Stavros Vougioukas, UC Davis 

                       Trade, Steve Zahniser, USDA 

Discussants: Kyle Cobb, Advanced Farm, Soren Bjorn, Driscoll’s 


3pm Adjourn 

Event Category