Jul 6, 2021Migrant, seasonal workers’ contribution to Michigan’s ag industry saluted
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed July as Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Appreciation Month, providing the opportunity for Michiganders to support and appreciate this valuable workforce.
In celebration, the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Health and Human Services (MDHHS) have joined together to recognize the hard-working individuals who help plant and harvest Michigan’s crops.
“Migrant and seasonal workers are essential to Michigan’s agricultural industry,” said Governor Whitmer. “Their contributions uplift Michigan’s economy, which brings in $2.3 billion in farm gate revenue annually. They also played an integral role through COVID, helping feed us all by stepping up to ensure our farmers were able to harvest food and get it from farm to table.”
MDARD’s Migrant Labor Housing program provides a means of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of migrant workers and their families who occupy agricultural housing at more than 850 licensed facilities throughout Michigan.
“MDARD takes great care in making sure that the more than 28,000 migrant and seasonal workers who enter our state have healthy and safe housing,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “Migrant and seasonal workers help us plant and harvest more than 160 commercial crops. We honor their hard work, resilience, and dedication to Michigan’s agriculture industry.”
MDARD is not alone in the efforts in supporting migrant and seasonal farmworkers. MDHHS provides resources for health, food, childcare, and other services to workers.
“MDHHS appreciates farmworkers and supports them by providing access to public benefits, outreach services, and encourages them to feel welcome in Michigan because they play a vital role in the agriculture industry,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel.