NIWAA members have welcomed the economic recovery in Iowa, but there are concerns about the long-term future of the industry.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture says the state has experienced the highest number of jobs created since the recession.
But, according to the Iowa Business and Industry Association (IBIA), many of those jobs have gone to low-wage workers, such as temporary farm workers.
IBIA says the Iowa Economic Development Council estimates there were 4,200 Iowa workers in agriculture and related jobs in 2016.
Many of those workers, like farm workers, are employed by the Iowa Dairy and Meat Producers Association (IDPA), which is the largest farm worker union in the state.
There are concerns that the IDPA is working to retain workers who were employed by its predecessor, the Iowa Farmers Union (IGU).
Iguana and other Iowa workers have been struggling since the 2016 farm bill was signed into law, which removed a ban on the use of the interstate cattle trade and allowed for more flexibility for Iowa farmers to grow crops on state land.
“We know that there are a lot of people out there who are struggling,” IDPA President Joe Rauch told the Associated Press news agency.
He added that it was important that Iowa lawmakers support job growth.
This year, Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped to 3.7 percent, down from 5.4 percent a year earlier, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rauch said there is a strong economic recovery going on in Iowa.
I can tell you I haven’t been here in a year and a half and I’ve been seeing jobs, we’ve been talking about jobs and I think it’s great,” he said.
Iowa’s unemployment has fallen to 3%.
But some workers are still struggling to find work.
In November, a report from the National Employment Law Project found that the number of Iowa workers employed in agriculture has fallen from 6,926 to 4,913 since the start of the recession in mid-2009.