TRAVERSE CITY — Farmers looking for workers this harvest season are encouraged to consider using a federal system that recruits farm labor nationally.
Gerardo Aranda of the Michigan Workforce Development Agency said the federal Agricultural Recruitment System used to be a regular tool for Michigan farmers who sought labor. A current shortage of farm workers in Michigan has Aranda encouraging farmers to revisit the program through the Workforce Development Agency.
“It was widely used in the late 1970s and 1980s,” Aranda said. “Last week we used it successfully in the Traverse City area, working with an employer looking for workers. We made contact with a family from Texas and that family is now in northern Michigan helping harvest.”
Aranda said a second family of workers likely is headed to the same farm in Charlevoix County because of the recruitment system.