New Pilot Program Tackles Workforce Challenges

Agricultural employers can apply for a pilot program designed to improve the resiliency of the food and agricultural supply chain by addressing workforce challenges farmers face.

USDA is offering up to $65 million in grants available for the Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program.

“Our country is facing growing agriculture workforce challenges,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

He says labor challenges hurt farmers’ ability to be competitive. He adds it also threatens the economy and the safety of the food system.

“At the same time, record numbers of people are interested in living and working in the United States,” Vilsack says. “This pilot program has been designed… in an effort to help address these immediate challenges.”

The program aims to address workforce needs in agriculture, promote a safe work environment, and expand lawful migration pathways. This includes for workers from Northern Central America, through the Department of Labor’s H-2A visa program.

“The effort will also facilitate safe, orderly, and humane migration,” Vilsack says. “This pilot should be a win for everyone along the agricultural supply chain, from the field to the dinner table.” 

Domestic agricultural employers are eligible. See more eligibility requirements:

The maximum award amount is $2 million. The minimum amount is $25,000 per grant agreement.

Applications for the FLSP program must be received on or before 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 28. Apply:

The FLSP Program seeks to advance the following: 

  • Address current workforce needs in agriculture: This pilot will expand the potential pool of workers and enhance employers’ competitiveness by improving job quality.
  • Reduce irregular migration, including from Northern Central America through the expansion of regular pathways.  
  • Improve working conditions for farmworkers: Through this pilot program, USDA will support efforts to improve working conditions for agricultural workers, both U.S. and H-2A workers.