Many local farmers are hesitant to participate for fear most Americans cannot meet the physical demands of farming. Sweet-potato farmer Kevin Smith of Cullman, Ala., has not had a shortage of people interested in filling the positions, with 10 or more calls per day, but he says most quit after only a few hours because the labor is so intense, Kim Chandler of The Birmingham News reports.
Tom Surtees, director of the state Department of Industrial Relations, says farmers should give the jobs program a chance. "Americans can do the work and need the opportunity to try," he told Fox.
Marshall County saw its unemployment rate drop by 1 percentage point after many illegal workers left, Republican Sen. Scott Beason told Fox. "So what will happen over time is people will see opportunities open up and those opportunities will be filled by people willing to take a shot." (Read more)