LANSING — Earlier this month, the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) mailed out its 2021 Ag Labor Survey to more than 300 farmers and ranchers across Michigan.
If you received one, and haven’t gotten around to filling it out, now’s the time to do it.
“This survey is critical for giving federal officials data to influence farm labor policies with the most up to date information,” said John Kran, MFB national legislative counsel. “The details you provide will be used for statistical purposes only, and your responses will be kept confidential.”
USDA and the U.S. Department of Labor use the results of this survey to estimate the demand for, and availability of seasonal agricultural workers, establish minimum wage rates for agricultural workers, administer farm labor recruitment and placement service programs, and assist legislators in determining labor policies.
“Farmers should not confuse the Farm Labor Survey with another survey that comes from the Michigan’s State Workforce Agency (SWA),” Kran added. “That survey is used to determine prevailing wage, benefits and practices by region in Michigan. The SWA survey may also impact housing, transportation and wages under the H-2A program and for those employers using the Agricultural Recruitment System.”
Some important factors to keep in mind when completing the survey:
- Only include workers hired by your farm.
- DO NOT include H-2A workers hired by a farm labor contractor.
- Report only the base wage for your workers; do not include add-ons or bonuses.
“Accuracy is very important. Include only wages for survey listed jobs and assure all hours worked, including covered salaried workers, are included,” said Craig Anderson, MFB manager of agricultural labor and safety services. “The results will directly impact the AEWR which increased nearly 20% over the last five years compared to 13% for all US wages.”
Survey participants can respond online at agcounts.usda.gov or by mail before November 8, 2021.
Click here for more information about the survey. If you run into any trouble completing it, call (888)-424-7828
— Michigan Farm Bureau