Farm Labor vs. Border Security: Louisiana Farmers Feel the Pinch

Jim Chilton ranches along the Arizona - Mexico border. He will speak to Louisiana Farm Bureau members Friday morning at the Labor & Environmental Conference.

Jim Chilton ranches along the Arizona - Mexico border. He will speak to Louisiana Farm Bureau members Friday morning at the Labor & Environmental Conference.

By Carey Martin, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation

NEW ORLEANS - President Trump wants to build a wall to secure America's borders, but Louisiana farmers and ranchers have become increasingly dependent on immigrant labor to keep their farms running.  

It's a dilemma that is on the minds of farmers and ranchers attending the 95th annual Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation convention here in the Big Easy.  

Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson says farmers definitely do not want criminals, drug dealers and terrorists crossing the border, but the need for immigrant labor is growing every year.

"What we want is to have a legal process where immigrants can come in and work, and then go back," said Anderson. "This is real important to all of Louisiana agriculture."

Convention attendees will get a first-hand account on Friday of problems along the Mexican border from Arizona cattle rancher Jim Chilton. His Chilton Ranch and Cattle Company comprises 50,000 acres, with several miles of it on the Arizona - Mexico border.

He will be speaking about illegal border crossings, many from heavily armed drug cartels in full military garb going through farm and ranch property in the U.S.

Here are a few links with more information on Chilton's experiences of ranching along the border:

Arizona Border Rancher Says Trump's Wall is Needed

Rancher Jim Chilton Patrols the Border

Meet the US Residents Tackling the Illegal Drug Trade Along the Border

Monica Velasquez

Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, 9516 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, LA, 70815