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To assist farmers in need of additional employees, Ohio Farm Bureau partnered with Great Lakes Agricultural Labor Services, LLC, a full-service agent helping farms secure labor through the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program.
The H-2A program allows agricultural employers, who anticipate a shortage in workers, to hire temporary or seasonal foreign agricultural workers to fill the labor shortage gap when qualified U.S. workers are not available.
In 2022, GLALS worked with more than 80 farms throughout Michigan, Ohio and Indiana and brought in more than 2,100 workers to fill critical jobs in agriculture — a 400% increase compared to 2021.
“Many of our clients have told us the ability to access H-2A labor through GLALS has been critical in saving their family farm,” said Sarah Black, general manager of GLALS. “It’s often the last decision impacting whether they simply get out of farming or stay in business and be able to pass that farm on to the next generation.”
For those considering H-2A in 2023, it’s important to plan ahead. Employers should reach out to GLALS or an H-2A service provider to learn about how to use the program as well as its requirements, employer responsibility, costs and if the work qualifies for H-2A. Black recommends starting the process at least 120 days prior to when the help is needed.
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done in advance of filing an application,” Black said. “For example, not having housing or having housing that doesn’t meet the standards, is often the most common element that prevents farms from participating in the first year. This is a process that farmers who are interested in H-2A will want to start on now.”
For more information about the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program, call 517-679-4779 or email [email protected].
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With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.Business Solutions
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