Farmers who work in Michigan have a long way to go before they can reap the benefits of the new agricultural revolution.
That’s according to a new report from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
But the report points to a bright future for the state’s agricultural sector, even as farmers have been struggling for decades.
Here are some things to know: What’s going on?
The new state report, published Tuesday, says Michigan’s farmers have improved dramatically over the past three decades, and the farm sector is growing at a more rapid pace than in any other state in the country.
“The state is the only state that has not experienced an economic recession,” the report said.
But it also said the industry has been suffering from an economic downturn for years, and its prospects for recovery are “uncertain.”
The report comes on the heels of a recent report from a University of Michigan study that said Michigan’s farming sector has lost more than half of its jobs since 2008.
The report, however, says that it’s a small portion of the industry’s overall loss of jobs.
But some economists have argued that it is significant, given the state has the third-highest unemployment rate in the U.S. The economic decline of Michigan’s agriculture sector is more severe than any other in the nation.
It has been declining for decades, according to the state.
It’s also declining faster than the rest of the country, said Jim Pecoraro, president of the Michigan Farm Bureau, a farm lobby group.
The state’s farming industry lost more workers than any of the other industries in the state during the recession, and that’s been happening even before the Great Recession, the report found.
“We have more people leaving the farm than coming in,” said Pecorsaro.
“They’re just not coming in as many.”
Pecorao, the Farm Bureau’s executive director, said it’s too soon to tell if the downturn will slow the growth of the sector.
“It’s not the beginning of the end,” he said.
“I’m not sure we have to say it’s the end.”
The report said Michigan has been experiencing a decline in farm employment in recent years.
The number of farmers has been falling for decades at about half the rate of the population, the state report said, and at the same time, the number of farm jobs has been growing.
The numbers were higher than the national average, the study found, but not as fast as the rest the country: in the 10 years before the recession began, the country lost more farm jobs than it gained.
The federal government reports the number has been decreasing since 2010, the first year that data was collected.
“While we continue to grow the number and employment of American farmers, the rate at which we’re doing so has fallen significantly,” the state said.
Michigan’s decline in agriculture employment was “particularly pronounced” in the past decade, the State Department of Commerce and Economic Development said in a statement.
“Our agricultural workforce has been steadily decreasing over the last decade, and it has taken a tremendous hit during this economic downturn.”
The recession hit agriculture particularly hard, as a lot of the jobs that were being lost were in the small-scale, low-wage farming, the department said.
A lot of those jobs were being replaced by new and higher-paying, more high-skilled work.
The decline in agricultural employment has been especially pronounced in the last 10 years, the farm department said, because many of those people have gone into the service sector.
That service sector includes the restaurant, hospitality and food service industries.
“There is a real need for people to get back into agriculture, especially in the service-sector,” the department’s statement said.
How does it work?
The farm bureau is leading the effort to help Michigan’s farmworkers, the agency said.
The bureau’s “M-Farmers Network” has helped connect more than 1,000 workers with employers, who have provided information about the jobs available in the industry and help them find jobs that pay enough to support themselves and their families, it said.
There are a number of different programs in the farm bureau’s database to help farmworkers.
The farm department also has a statewide workforce development plan.
It helps workers get experience in jobs they would normally not be able to find in the local economy, and encourages them to learn how to find work, said the bureau’s Pecorio.
The M-Farmer Network also provides a network of other organizations, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which helps people who might not otherwise have a way to connect with other people who are looking for work in the field, the chamber said in its statement.
The job openings that are advertised on the M-Farmers Network have helped the farm industry in other ways, too.
For example, the M:Farmers Program provides assistance to farmworkers to transition from the service economy into a job that pays enough