"This report profiles the farm labor use patterns in Michigan and the benefits of farm labor to Michigan agriculture and rural areas and also profiles the migrant and seasonal farmworker population in the state, identifies some of the current pressing issues and problems of the population, and suggests ways to stabilize the agricultural labor market in the state."
“Migrant and seasonal farmworkers are an important part of agricultural production in Michigan. Although important to agriculture, as a group they continue to be one of the most disadvantaged in Michigan and in the country. This report profiles the farm labor use patterns in Michigan and the benefits of farm labor to Michigan agriculture and rural areas. The report also profiles the migrant and seasonal farmworker population in the state, identifies some of the current pressing issues and problems of the population, and suggests ways to stabilize the agricultural labor market in the state” (p. a).

"In 1997, 96,000 hired and contract farmworkers were hired on 40% of all of Michigan's 46,000 farms. Expenditures for hired and contract labor accounted for 14% of Michigan's total food production expenses" (p. a).

Major Findings & Recommendations

The following is a selective list of findings from the study: •“A great majority of the hired farmworkers works a relatively short period of time; 78% of the 96,000 farmworkers hired in Michigan farms worked less than 150 days…” (p. a). •“Farmworkers employment is concentrated in the larger farms. Five percent of the farms with hired farm labor expenses of $100,000 or more accounted for 61% of all labor expenditures…” (p. a). "Farm labor use in the state is concentrated in the southwestern part of the state. The 11 largest users of farm labor accounted for 50% all hired labor. Ten counties account for 80% of all migrant workers in the state" (p. a). •“Housing and health continue to be major concerns of the migrant and seasonal farmworker population. Other concerns include immigration issues, discrimination, wage complaints, employment disputes, access to service programs, and others…” (p. .). •“As is the case nationally, Michigan’s agricultural labor market trends point to an oversupply of agricultural labor in the state, with a larger proportion of undocumented workers…”(p. b). “The report concludes with recommendation for stabilizing this workforce, including: 1) Extending the same protections afforded all working people under existing labor state laws and regulations, 2) Enforcing state labor laws more effectively and improving farmworker access to the justice system, 3) Promoting better wages, benefits, and working and housing conditions to attract and stabilize the agricultural labor force “ (p.b).