The National Cotton Council will be hosting four webinars related to the new farm bill. Sign up for the 2018 Farm Bill has just begun and the NCC is hosting these webinars to help producers understand the various options involved in the process.
The Council is also encouraging gins or other entities to host groups of farmers to allow as many as possible to see the webinars. Questions will be taken via a chat client in the webinar program and the webinars will also be recorded for viewing at a later date. Please Click on the image above for additional information and how you may be able to host a group of farmers at your facility.
This is just a short (Okay not so short) article to clarify some confusion regarding the notification of working terms and conditions that is required to be given to Migrant or Seasonal workers under the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act known simply as MSPA. MSPA requires a number of things of the employer to make sure there is no gray area about the employment.
First let’s look at some definitions and why we typically don’t have Seasonal Workers as you may think. Migrant workers are employees that leave their permanent home and come to work for an agricultural employer and stay over night for some period of time. If gins have MSPA workers we typically have Migrant Workers. Seasonal Workers are ‘local’ workers that are recruited by means of a day-haul operation. Day-haul means the employer drives to a gathering point and picks up however many employees he needs that day. They are normally paid daily for their work. Very few, if any, gins get employees by means of day-haul operations so it is not typical for a gin to have Seasonal Workers.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued a press release late last week that employers should continue to use the current (old) I-9 forms for new hires or re-hires until a new form is released. The current form has an expiration date of August 31, 2019. There is no indication when a new form will be available.
The USCIS has a good website for information regarding the I-9 called I-9 Central. This site has forms, instructions and even webinars you can view to get all the information you may want. For the forms and instructions only, go to www.uscis.gov/I-9
With the increase in ICE activity, the likelihood of getting an audit has also increased. Technical violations of the I-9 can be costly. Please take some time before you go to far in your hiring process to review the I-9 and it’s instructions. The book M-274 is a wealth of information as well you should download and review that book for additional information including tips on spotting fraudulent documents.
Editorial: How a three page form can have 11 pages of instructions and a 125 page manual is beyond me but this is the case… don’t expect it to get better.
We’re only a week away from the last two state unit ginner meetings for the season. The South Carolina Ginners are going to get together at 10AM on September 10 at the Santee Family Development Center in Santee.
The North Carolina and Virginia gins will meet on September 11 at the Wilson Agricultural Center in Wilson. They will also meet at 10AM. Both meetings will be followed by lunch.
Topics expected to be covered include recent H2A activity, Safety Programs, Wage and Hour activity and news among others.
This year we’re asking people to RSVP by following one of the links below. It will help us with minimizing expenses going forward. We hope to see you all in either Wilson or Santee next week.
Just a little reminder that our State Unit meetings begin next week. The Alabama-Florida meeting will follow the Safety Round Table on August 27. The Georgia meeting will be the following day August, 28. The NC/VA and SC meetings will be the second week in September and we’ll send out another update as we get closer. All meetings will cover similar topics. We plan to discuss H-2A and Immigration issues, Accident Review and safety issues, contamination, and Wage and Hour issues.
This year we’re trying to get a better handle on how many people we will be hosting and feeding and we’re asking that you RSVP if you plan on coming to one of these meetings. Even if you’re registered for the Round Table in Alabama we as that you RSVP for the state meeting.
Long time member of the cotton community in the Southeast, Bud Lindler passed away on Sunday. Bud worked for the National Cotton Council for 38 years. He also worked for Southern Southeastern for a period of time in the mid 90’s. He was well liked by nearly everyone he met. Even into his retirement he kept a toe in the cotton world working for us as well as with Coker Gin. Bud was 88. Funeral Services will be Wednesday, Aug 7 (See link below)