The TN Visa: The Future of Foreign Workers in Livestock Production

Athena K. Ramos, Danny Reynaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Agricultural employers have faced extreme challenges in recruiting and retaining an adequate workforce. Various societal changes have made hiring local workers into agricultural jobs difficult. Therefore, there is a growing reliance on foreign workers and visa programs to meet labor demands. One such program, the TN visa, can be an effective and useful tool for recruiting professional labor for livestock operations, and many agricultural employers have already seen its value. It is likely that the use of the TN program will continue to grow in the future. However, there is opportunity for misuse and abuse of the TN program because there are few administrative rules and limited oversight. We offer recommendations to improve the TN program and the well-being of TN professionals including additional oversight of the program, transparency in recruiting and contracting workers, educating TN workers about U.S. labor rights, ensuring fair pay, and allowing a path to work authorization for TN workers’ spouses and children who accompany them in the U.S. Clearly, sustainable solutions to the farm labor shortage are needed. As a field, we need to better understand workforce recruitment and retention concerns as well as mechanisms being used to address such concerns and their impact on workers’ health, safety, and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Immigration
  • TN visa
  • farm labor
  • farmworkers
  • guest workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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