NewsRoom
5:25 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Snyder: Immigration Shakeup Include Ag Workers

Governor Rick Snyder says Michigan needs to do more to attract seasonal migrant laborers to work on farms this spring and summer.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta.

Last year, Michigan asparagus farmers lost about 2 million pounds – or 10 percent of their crop – because they didn’t have enough workers. Michigan competes with Texas and California for farm labor, and Governor Snyder says there are already concerns that Michigan won’t be able to lure enough agriculture labor this year.

“And so we want to get the word out to people, particularly in that category, to say: Please, come to Michigan,” he says.  “You’re welcome here.”

Michigan typically requires about 49,000 seasonal farm workers annually, and that number is expected to grow as the agriculture economy gets bigger.

The governor’s immigration efforts thus far have focused largely on attracting high-tech workers and investors.