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Addressing labor challenges together

EAST LANSING, MI. – Help us understand the current workforce needs of agricultural operations across Michigan.

Ask any agricultural employer in Michigan to list their biggest concerns and there's a good chance labor ranks near the top. Attracting and retaining employees has long been a challenge for the food and agriculture industry. In an effort to address this issue, a multi-organizational team led by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has developed an Employer Hiring Needs survey to gain insight into the current hiring practices of food and agricultural employers. The team, which includes colleagues from MDARD, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan State University, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and Michigan Works!, will use this insight to identify trends and develop recruiting and retention suggestions for Michigan's food and agricultural business sector.

Are you an employer in the food and agriculture sector? Please help our efforts to assist the industry in breaking out of a seemingly never-ending state of labor shortage by filling out the form  and sharing it with other employers. 

The Employer Needs Form gathers basic information, such as:

• Size of organization

• Benefits and compensation

• Top hiring positions

• Peak hiring months

• Job promotion practices

• Partner organizations

• Training programs

It has 17 questions and should take about 10 minutes or less to complete.

Participation is voluntary and information gathered will remain confidential. If you have any questions on the data collection, please contact Ashley Batteen, MDARD’s Recruitment and Professional Development Specialist, at 517-290-0041 or

The form is available at