Posts

A year of speaking up for cattle feeders

As advocates for our province’s cattle feeders, the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association champions their interests, freeing them to concentrate on what they do best – producing premium beef for the world.

This past year has been another busy one. Here are the major projects the association has undertaken:

International trade

ACFA worked closely with the National Cattle Feeders’ Association to advance swift passage of several Canadian trade deals:

– Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which replaced NAFTA.

– The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which broadens access to Asian markets.

– Opening markets in China for Canadian bone-in-beef products, including the creation of a pilot project to export fresh and chilled beef to China.

– Positive changes to the Restricted Feeder Cattle Program at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and postponement of changes to the CFIA Manual of Procedure that would have stalled trade with China.

Labour

To address the chronic labour shortage, ACFA reached an agreement with the Alberta ministry of Labour to facilitate faster and more direct applications for temporary foreign workers, as well as relaxed education, language and income requirements.

ACFA continues to work on this crucial program.

Taxation 

Lobbying for fair taxation has been a top priority. Efforts include:

– $75,000 in funding to appeal Lethbridge County Livestock Head Tax.

– Successfully advocating to drop proposed changes to the taxation of family owned corporations.

– Seeking rebates for carbon tax paid by agriculture.

– Successfully advocating for improved allowances and deductions from federal corporate income tax for capital investment (i.e., new Accelerated Investment Incentive).

Government consultation and submissions

ACFA regularly consults with municipal and provincial governments to represent our members’ interests. This year, ACFA:

– Urged a return to full funding for veterinary schools at the universities of Calgary and Saskatchewan.

– Called for improved regulations for winter manure management.

– Consulted on an Animal Health Pathfinding initiative for Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness.

– Attended the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) annual meeting, and met with the European vaccine bank.

– Worked with the province and Alberta Veterinary Medical Association on the dispensing of antimicrobial products.

Next week, we will explore upcoming priorities for 2019. In the meantime, we wish you a happy new year.

The rising cost of hiring temporary foreign workers puts cattle feeders at risk 

Many of Canada’s agricultural producers rely on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to help keep their operations running. Even though they would prefer to hire from within the domestic labour pool, there are three main reasons why it is hard for them to find local workers:

1. Farm work is often seasonal, and many Canadian candidates choose to seek year-round work elsewhere.

2. The work can be extremely physical and strenuous, which limits the number of people interested in, or able for, such work.

3. While baby boomer farmers are retiring, young people are leaving rural areas for cities, creating a labour gap.

The agricultural industry collaborated to create a Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan and have urged the government to adopt their recommendations for addressing the labour crisis.

Why new changes to the temporary foreign worker program will impact cattle feeders

In October 2018, the Alberta government changed the prevailing wages for temporary foreign workers.

For example, the minimum wage for the NOC (national occupational classification, or occupational group) that includes specialized livestock workers and supervisors has increased from $18.43 per hour to $21.63 or more, across the province. That’s a wage increase of more than $3 per hour.

These minimum wages are in addition to other requirements such as supplying housing for workers, so the total cost of hiring a temporary foreign worker can quickly become prohibitive for agricultural producers, even though they desperately need help.

The Agriculture Industry Labour Council of Alberta (AILCA) has written a letter to the federal and provincial governments asking for support, because it is concerned that proposed changes to two programs intended to help farmers with a worker shortage will make it even harder to access labour. You can read more about that in ‘Alberta’s agricultural leaders ask government for help with labour crisis’.

To learn more about the agricultural labour crisis, read ‘12 must-know facts about the agricultural labour shortage and why it matters to Canadians.’

5 priorities for cattle feeders in 2019 

Canada’s cattle feeders are urging politicians to consider the needs of beef producers in their platforms for the 2019 federal election. 

Agriculture and Agri-Food is a $100-billion industry that employs more than two million Canadians. The government has identified the sector as one of a few with the potential to spur economic growth.

Canada is in a prime position to benefit from increasing global demand for agricultural products, but the industry requires government support in removing constraints and barriers to growth. 

The National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) cites five urgent challenges:

Rural infrastructure

Most agricultural operations are in rural municipalities with a limited tax base to provide infrastructure. With little federal funding, some municipalities have implemented counterproductive measures, such as the livestock head tax in Lethbridge County. This is eroding the competitiveness of cattle feeding in southern Alberta.

It is crucial that the federal government identifies critical infrastructure investments in rural communities and dedicates financial resources to make them happen.

Labour shortage

A chronic labour shortage of about 60,000 workers is costing primary agriculture producers about $1.5 billion in unrealized farm cash receipts each year. 

Farmers have been forced to turn to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to fill positions that cannot be filled by Canadians, but the process is expensive, time-consuming and complicated. 

The program’s processes need to be streamlined and clear a pathway set for permanent residency for temporary foreign workers.

Regulatory barriers

The industry is ever-evolving with new technologies and industry developments. But when regulations don’t keep pace, it hinders our ability to compete in the global marketplace.

In 2016, NCFA released a detailed study entitled The Competitiveness of the Canadian Cattle Feeding Sector: Regulatory and Policy Issues(PDF)

, Costs and Opportunities. It highlighted six areas – enhanced traceability, export regulation and impediments, veterinary drug harmonization, inspection practices, transportation and labour – where reforms could generate an additional $495 million in revenue across the beef value chain.

International market access

Canada exports 45 per cent of its beef production, and those exports are primarily to the U.S. To grow, the industry needs to expand into other markets, including the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

Agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-EU Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) should be a government priority. They will have a tremendous impact on our ability to trade effectively with these regions.

Consumer education and trust

Government and industry need to work together to ensure consumers are able to make informed choices when it comes to their food, whether the issue is environmental impact, health, or production methods.

Public education should be a pillar of any new national food policy, and Canada Food Guide revisions should reflect the most recent scientific, medical and nutritional research.

In an earlier blog post, we featured John Weekes, an independent business advisor who has worked with NCFA on international trade issues. You can learn more about his work in Meet the international trade expert who is helping support the beef industry abroad.

Ottawa meetings bring cattle feeder issues to government’s attention

Each year, at its February board meeting, the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) creates an Ottawa Engagement Strategy. This strategy provides a framework for four separate meetings in March, May, September, and November with federal decision makers, including MPs, ministers, parliamentary secretaries, staff, and house committees.

The strategy allows NCFA representatives to advocate for cattle feeders across Canada on major issues such as trade, regulations, labour, and infrastructure.

During the 2018 March and May meetings, the NCFA met with Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and with Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, as well as more than 50 MPs and government officials.

The issues explained

The major opportunities and challenges that form the focus of this year’s meetings include the following:

Opportunities for growth

Barriers to growth

  • Consumer education and trust – To get the government engaged in consumer education, helping ensure, through the Canadian Food Policy, that consumer choice is “informed”, based on facts and science.
  • Labour shortages – To ensure that Canada’s agricultural producers and meat processors have access to the labour they need.
  • Rural infrastructure – To facilitate infrastructure development so that agriculture ties into broader provincial, regional, and national networks.
  • Regulatory barriers – To continue updating regulations so they reflect the day-to-day realities of beef production and keep pace with technological changes and ongoing innovations.

Progress made during the consultations

In early May, Rodger Cuzner, parliamentary secretary for labour, chaired a day-long roundtable on labour needs in agriculture and agri-food. It was announced that the government will no longer require separate Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) for worker transfers or replacement workers. This removes one of the many Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) complexities.

Bureaucrats administering the TFWP are currently holding consultations with agriculture across Canada, with meetings in Ottawa, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and other cities. Key issues with the program will be raised during the meetings.

As more meetings are held later this year, we will continue to provide updates.

Alberta’s agricultural leaders ask government for help with labour crisis

The Agriculture Industry Labour Council of Alberta (AILCA) has written a letter to the federal and provincial governments asking for support, because it is concerned that proposed changes to two programs intended to help farmers with a worker shortage will make it even harder to access labour.

For many years, Canada’s farmers have struggled with a declining domestic labour pool, resulting in a chronic shortage of workers. Temporary foreign workers are often the only source of labour available to help them continue their operations.

The council believes the proposed changes to the Provincial Nominee Program and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will complicate the use of these labour lifelines.

Who is AILCA?

AILCA is a council of 22 agricultural producers, and related organizations, representing diverse agri-foods sectors from livestock to food crops and greenhouse growers.

The council recently wrote a letter outlining their concerns to the following ministers:

    • Hon. Patricia A. Hajdu, Minister Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
    • Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada
    • Hon. Christina Gray, Minister of Alberta Labour

The purpose of the letter was to outline in detail the reasons for their concern, and the implications for Canadian agriculture if the government fails to take action to protect their interests.

The AILCA message to Ottawa

Here is a summary of the council’s concerns:

THE PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAM

The federal government is imposing new requirements on the provinces relating to education, income, language and more. These requirements will severely hinder and limit farmers’ ability to transition temporary foreign workers to permanent resident status.

Some of the issues include:

    • Excessively high-income thresholds which are prohibitive for employers. It also does not consider unique aspects of agricultural employment which might include subsidized housing and the comparatively low cost of rural living.
    • Educational requirements which do not take into account work experience or job skills.
    • Language skills that are more advanced than those required to apply for Canadian citizenship.

The government is taking away the ability of provincial governments to provide solutions tailored to their specific economic needs.

THE TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKER PROGRAM

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has many administrative issues that make it a lengthy and complex process for companies to acquire permits for the workers they need:

Service delivery issues:

    • Insufficient communication, leading to refusals. Applications are routinely refused on the grounds of rules or regulations that do not exist or have never been made public. Unannounced and sudden changes to forms, program requirements and wage rates are another common reason for refusal.
    • Increasing service delivery timelines and frequent processing delays, mean applications can take anywhere from one to three months, with no consistency.
    • Workers coming from Mexico are experiencing such delays to their visa applications that they often don’t arrive in time for the start of the season.

Program framework issues:

    • TFWP Cap – Despite the proven, chronic agricultural labour shortage, many employers are subject to a 10 or 20-per-cent cap on the number of TFWs they can hire.
    • Housing – Employment and Social Development Canada officers have been implementing excessive housing requirements based on unpublished, and in some cases, non-existent program rules. Many of them fail to consider the specific situation or requirements of individual employers.
    • Application Streams – The application stream under which employers can apply has been reduced from two to one, resulting in many problems because specific operational needs are not taken into account.
    • Commodity Lists – A TFW can only work in one commodity, or agricultural product group. On a feedlot, for instance, this precludes workers from helping with both livestock and feed crops because those would be considered different commodities.

Audits and inspections:

    • Applications are often delayed due to audits, which can drag on for weeks or even months. This leaves employers without access to desperately needed workers or prevents workers from extending their permits.
    • Unannounced inspections are being held, but the processes that guide those inspections have not been made available to employers. Certain issues such as bio-security and the inspection of businesses located in homes and private residences have not been addressed and are of particular concern.  

What AILCA wants

AILCA stresses the need for leadership from within the federal departments of Employment and Social Development Canada, and Immigration and Refugees and Citizenship Canada, as well as from the provincial government.

AILCA would like to see meaningful, ongoing collaboration on these issues, and has asked the provincial and federal governments to engage with producers and processors to develop realistic labour and immigration policies. They stress this is the only way to successfully grow Alberta’s and Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector.

Secure labour sources needed to meet $75-billion ag-export goal

 

In 2017, the federal government challenged Canada’s agricultural producers to reach an export target of $75 billion by 2025 – fully $20 billion more than current levels. The government has identified agriculture as one of a handful of sectors that could spur economic growth.

Yet the huge potential for increased global trade for Canadian agri-foods is likely to go unfulfilled unless the agriculture sector’s chronic labour crisis is resolved.

Temporary foreign workers

The importance of temporary foreign workers to Canada’s farmers has been explained in previous blog posts. When farmers cannot find enough domestic workers to help them run their operations, access to temporary foreign workers, and the ability to keep them in the country, is crucial to the growth of the sector.

Proposed changes to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program and to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are making it harder for farmers to access that labour lifeline.

Youth unemployment

We spoke with Joe Hersch, managing director of Youth Jobs Canada, who said that young Canadians could also be part of the solution.

“Unemployment rates among youth are in the range of 13 to 14 per cent,” said Joe. “That’s about double the Canadian unemployment rate, which stands at around seven per cent”.

Youth Jobs Canada is the only national employment website that focuses strictly on youth. It makes employment resources available to youth, and helps bridge the divide between them and potential employers. “We wanted to give youth the tools that they need to go after jobs, but also to allow employers to post jobs,” Joe continued.

The response to the site, which launched in October 2017, has been very favourable among employers, but the uptake among youth is growing more slowly. Joe commented that job seekers can sometimes be unrealistic in terms of the level at which they expect to enter a career path.

Youth Jobs Canada is building awareness among young people, primarily through work fairs and social media.

“Social media is where young people live,” said Joe, “and if you can direct your message through social media that’s how you can make sure you’re being seen. Having that interaction is so valuable, so that youth feel comfortable that we’re identifying with what they need.”

Services such as Youth Jobs Canada are valuable tools in the agricultural sector’s recruitment toolkit. Some others include Acme School’s Career Connections, Alberta 4-H, Ag in the Classroom and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Green Certificate Program. Nonetheless, support from the government is the best hope our agricultural producers have of a viable solution to this long-term challenge.

Why the Canadian government needs to implement the Agricultural Workforce Action Plan

Canada’s agriculture sector is struggling with a labour shortage crisis, made more challenging with recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

It is time for the government to step up and make the process simpler and faster for the people who help feed Canadians every day.

In 2012, agriculture and agri-food industries employed 2.1 million people in Canada, accounting for one in eight jobs. Of these, about 39,700 were temporary foreign workers.

There are many reasons why Canada’s farmers find it necessary to supplement their Canadian workforce with temporary foreign workers, including:

  • As rural dwellers migrate to cities, it is increasingly difficult to attract workers for rural jobs.
  • The seasonality of the industry makes it hard for farmers to offer full-time, permanent jobs.
  • Farming is hard work, and many people are not attracted to its strenuous nature and often harsh working conditions.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

The ability to hire foreign workers as farmers need them is invaluable for many Canadian farmers.

Unfortunately, in response to alleged abuse of the program by industries outside agriculture, the federal government made changes in June 2014. Although primary agriculture was exempt from some of the changes, many others have had unintended consequences. It is now a convoluted and lengthy process for farmers to bring in the workers they require.

The challenges experienced by beef producers and other farmers are outlined in ‘Canada’s agriculture sector needs help and foreign workers are part of the solution’.

The Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan

The agriculture industry has collaborated on recommendations for addressing the labour crisis. Goals for meeting the industry’s non-domestic labour requirements include:

    • Short term: Streamline the existing systems and processes within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to help the agriculture and agri-food sector successfully access non-domestic labour and adapt to policy changes.
    • Medium term: A new streamlined program designed for, and dedicated to, the agriculture and agri-food industry.
    • Long term:
      • Improve pathways to permanent residency for agriculture and agri-food workers in alignment with Citizenship and Immigration Canada; and
      • Implement long-term elements of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-food Workforce Action Plan, to ensure a strong domestic labour supply into the future.

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, executive director of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC), said “The gap between the demand for workers and worker supply has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Based on increasing demand, both domestically and internationally, for Canada’s food and agriculture products, the gap is expected to double again in the next 10 years, to 114,000 workers by 2025.”

“The council,” she continued, “along with 75 other industry associations, supports the implementation of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-food Workforce Action Plan to address the immediate and pervasive issues of the inadequate supply of workers currently impeding businesses in Canada. The effort is guided by a national labour task force, and includes recommendations that are practical and essential to ensuring the safety, sustainability, and affordability of food for all Canadians and that support Canada’s continued position as a leader and significant contributor to food production for the whole world.”

The role of government in keeping agriculture growing

Agriculture is a unique industry because operators deal with live animals and perishable products. If they don’t have the labour force they require to get their work done, animals could suffer, and crops could spoil. It’s imperative that the federal government streamline the process so that operators can apply for assistance under the TFWP and bring in workers when they need them.

You can read more about the agriculture labour crisis in the following articles:

2017: Cattle feeders’ year in review

This past year saw a number of challenges arise that gave cattle feeders cause for concern, such as changing legislation and regulations, taxation, and trade. At each step, the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA) has played an active role in advocating and negotiating for our members.

Here are some of the major projects we worked on in 2017:

Strategic plan

In March, ACFA board members, staff and industry partners met to renew the organization’s vision, mission and strategic plan. Here is a summary of the outcome of those talks:

Vision: Champion a sustainable cattle feeding sector in Alberta.

Mission: Pursue innovative and collaborative solutions for a thriving Alberta beef industry

Strategic priority #1: Build ACFA membership by delivering value to our members.

Strategic priority #2: Engage with the provincial government to strengthen the health of the cattle feeding sector in Alberta.

Strategic priority #3: Collaborate with partners to advance the industry.

Strategic priority #4: Strengthen ACFA governance.

Advocacy

There were many issues affecting cattle feeders in 2017 in which ACFA played an active role in advocating for our members’ interests. These included:

    • The Lethbridge County head tax which would severely impact cattle feeders in that area, resulting in feedlot closures.
    • The provincial carbon levy which could add costs by as much as $6 to $7 per head.
    • Federal income tax changes that will harm the viability of family-owned corporations.
    • Infrastructure needs, which are not receiving adequate provincial or federal funding.
    • Labour shortages, ongoing issues with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), and proposed changes to the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP).
    • Farm safety, employment standards and the Employment Standards Code.
    • Trade, and access to new markets for cattle feeders.

Outreach

ACFA’s communications with stakeholders and the public included:

    • Key provincial government ministers, decision-makers, MLAs and MPs.
    • Members, industry and the media.
    • Feedlot tours for educators, students, and government officials.

Watch for status reports, as we continue to stay on top of these issues throughout the coming year.

Pressing cattle feeder issues discussed with politicians during Ottawa trip

Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, General Andrew Leslie addressing attendees at a townhall sponsored by University of Alberta and Global Affairs Canada.
Photo Credit: Casey Vander Ploeg

Last month, representatives of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association headed to Ottawa to participate in a series of meetings between the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) and Canadian politicians.

The meetings provided an opportunity to put the issues and challenges facing Canada’s cattle feeders in front of key members of government. The critical issues discussed included:

    • Labour: Changes are needed to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), so cattle feeders and beef processors can access desperately needed workers.  Employers are currently forced to endure a lengthy and convoluted process rife with red tape and changing requirements, which takes many months to complete.
    • Infrastructure: Significant funding is needed to upgrade rural infrastructure, particularly roads and bridges. Current investment is heavily swayed to urban areas, but it is the rural areas where much of the economic activity occurs, including mining, agriculture, oil and gas, and transportation.
    • NAFTA: A successful outcome to the negotiations is needed to encourage and facilitate international trade
    • TPP: Now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – even though the U.S. has now left the partnership, it is important for our industry that Canada signs on and keeps the negotiated market provisions as they were before. 
    • EU trade: EU approval of Canadian food safety practices will enable us to start filling our tariff-free quota under the agreement. 
    • China: Canada needs the same access to China as the U.S. successfully achieved in June 2017. Following a recent agriculture trade mission to China by Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, bone-in beef will hopefully start moving soon and a pilot project will be created to export Canadian fresh-chilled beef.  While not the same access afforded to U.S. beef, it is a step in the right direction.

NCFA board meeting

During the same trip, an NCFA board meeting was held. Several influential officials attended to discuss pressing issues:

To learn more about other ways that ACFA advocates for Alberta’s cattle feeders, visit our Advocacy Page.

Canada’s agriculture sector needs help – and foreign workers are part of the solution

The agriculture sector is in the midst of an acute labour crisis. For Canada’s cattle feeders, temporary foreign workers are a lifeline when they can’t fill vital positions with Canadian candidates. The Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA) is working hard to ensure feedlots have access to skilled labour when Canadians cannot be found. 

In spite of high vacancies in the cattle feeding sector, it’s becomingly increasingly difficult to access temporary foreign workers – applying to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been a convoluted and time-consuming process since changes were made in 2014.

How applications are made

Feedlot owners use the TFWP’s Agricultural Stream to access workers for year-round, permanent jobs. The current program attempts to fit a variety of industries and sectors into a one-size-fits-all design and does not recognize that a feedlot’s need for year-round, permanent employees differs greatly from seasonal farming requirements. 

In a recent Temporary Foreign Worker Program Primary Ag Review, cattle feeders provided their feedback on the program, with suggestions for improvements. The feedback revealed some common trends and serious frustrations:

  • Paperwork timelines: Bringing foreign workers in under the TFWP Agricultural Stream takes six months or longer for processing of paperwork, including a Service Canada Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Work Permit. This is too long for feedlot employers needing to fill vacancies to care for and feed live cattle. 
  • Housing: To qualify for the TFWP, feedlot employers must provide subsidized accommodation and a positive housing inspection. Most feedlots do not have on-site accommodation so local housing is found for workers. Employers must rent and furnish accommodation before applying — creating a months-long financial burden that feedlot owners must endure with no guarantee of a successful application. Differences between year-round and seasonal accommodation are not currently recognized and no consideration is being given to the unique needs of year-round feedlot workers.
  • National Commodity List (NCL): To apply under the Agricultural Stream, the feedlot operator must select one commodity, or production stream, per application. Workers brought in under the program are then only allowed to work within that one commodity. The rule doesn’t realistically fit with feedlot operations, where workers typically have responsibilities that fall under two or more of these commodities. LMIAs are being refused for this reason. 
  • Changing requirements: Job postings must reference the federally regulated wage rate. When the wage rates are changed, notification is not provided so if the wrong rate is advertised, then LMIA applications are often declined multiple times, at no fault of the feedlot employer. Endless back and forth follow-up with Service Canada can result in the loss of potential candidates because feedlots are unable to indicate to these workers when approval will actually, if ever, take place.
  • A disconnect between federal and provincial rules: Provincial frameworks often don’t align with federal frameworks. In some provinces, formal paperwork has to be submitted to the province in order to begin the TFW application process. When the TFW application ends up being a long, drawn-out process, the provincial paperwork can actually expire, leaving the feedlot to start the entire process over again.
  • Immigration access restrictions for feedlot workers: Under Canada’s merit-based immigration system it is very difficult for feedlot operators and processing plants to keep highly skilled workers in the country – even when they have vital experience and on-the-job training. Federal and provincial governments must recognize farm and food workers as important and prioritize them for immigration.

ACFA works with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force to research and bring these issues forward. It is crucial that the uniqueness of feedlot operations is taken into consideration and that blanket requirements are removed from the program. 

In a recent post we wrote about the Alberta Immigration Nominee program, whereby businesses can apply for permanent resident status for their temporary foreign workers. But changes to that program could also make it harder for feedlot operators to keep certain highly skilled workers in the country.