Michigan Farm Bureau talks issues in annual meeting
David Moore December 3, 2013 | WGVU
top agricultural officials are in Grand Rapids this week, for the annual Michigan
Farm Bureau meeting.And as you might
guess, the subject of seasonal workers was on the program.WGVU’s David Moore reports.
of our fruit and veggie crops require a temporary work force to do back
breaking seasonal harvesting.It starts
in early spring, and runs into November with apples.
Bureau President Wayne Wood stresses these are not unskilled laborers as some
people call them.The argument that
migrant, or guest workers as wood phrases it, are taking away local jobs just
doesn’t hold water.
said “We’ve tried a number of pilot programs to incentivize locals to go and do
that work, butmost of them, when they
hire in, do not last the first day, particularly in the asparagus.That’s tough work.”
says last year’s massive apple crop failure forced guest workers to look for
jobs elsewhere, and once they found employment in Washington State, Oregon and New York, they were hesitant to
come back to Michigan.
was in Grand Rapids for the annual Michigan Farm Bureau meeting. He shared the
platform with Governor Rick Snyder, talking about key agricultural issues.
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