Snyder: Immigration shakeup include ag workers

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

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. You’re welcome here,” said Snyder.

Michigan typically requires about 49 thousand 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.