Lacy Upchurch, president of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, recently laid out the rationale for his organization’s support for Congress passing a comprehensive immigration bill that makes it easier for livestock and crop growers to hire non-domestic workers. Farmers require a ready supply of legal, documented immigrants to perform “extremely difficult” agriculture labor if their operations are to survive and prosper, Upchurch said. “Our farmers need a dependable workforce. The immigrants will work hard. They will do the work — they are glad to get the work, they are well paid,” he said. Upchurch was among several pro-immigration reform advocates who participated in an Aug. 28 panel discussion in Nashville on the overhaul bill in the United States Congress. Said Upchurch: “To many farmers, the No. 1 issue is the uncertainty of labor. I think it is extremely important to work this issue out. The H-2A program is just not working…we need to look for viable alternatives.” Among those who also took part in the discussion were former United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President Randy Johnson and Tennessee Chamber of Commerce President Catherine Glover.