Speakers at the Kern County Farm Bureau’s Labor Workshop in Bakersfield say the worker shortage will get worse before it gets better. Organizer Jesse Rojas says uncertainty over immigration means fewer people are applying for jobs while some farmers are having problems with Millennials. “The young generation, we can tend to be a little entitled, a little bit lazy, a little bit of acting like, ‘I’m too smart,’ and it truly is a challenge when it comes to production, performance, and retaining employees. There’s been a 400-percent rise in special H2-A guest worker visas over the past few years to get around some immigration restrictions, especially during harvest season.

Kelli Pierce/Suzanne Grant