And what happens if Congress doesn’t pass immigration reform?

“As long as there’s uncertainty, we’re going to have growers make decisions not to expand,” said Vilsack. “We’re going to have growers make decisions to contract their operations. Some growers will move operations to other countries.

“Over time, if that continues, it will obviously impact the food supply produced domestically. That will not only impact what’s available in grocery stores but also the cost.

“It’s important for everyone to understand we all have a stake in immigration reform as it relates to our food supply.”

Queried on his recent interactions with Congress regarding immigration reform, Vilsack said his conversations have been “primarily with those on the House Agriculture Committee. … It’s fairly clear from Speaker (John) Boehner’s recent comments, and even from Leader (Eric) Cantor’s comments, that they understand there needs to be something done on immigration reform…

“When you talk to members privately, they acknowledge the significance and importance of immigration reform. I think a small minority of people in the House who, for whatever reason, aren’t interested in immigration reform, are making it more difficult than it should be.”

Vilsack said he wasn’t privy to any discussion within the Obama administration regarding ratcheting down deportations, which are at all-time high.