MDARD Director Announces Appointments to Migrant Labor Housing Advisory Board

Board to help advise department on important workforce

For immediate release: February 4, 2021
Program contact: Heather Throne, 517-712-0841
Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

LANSING, MI — Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell appointed 14 members to the Migrant Labor Housing Advisory Board. The appointees represent five agriculture seats, five migrant labor seats, and four seats from other migrant agricultural worker related organizations. The board will advise the department and the state on ways to alleviate obstacles in the development of adequate migrant labor housing throughout Michigan and improve conditions for the workers who are essential to Michigan’s agricultural sector. This may include recommendations on legislation or other measures.

“Even during stable and predictable years, the number and complexity of challenges surrounding migrant labor housing can be quite overwhelming,” said McDowell. “Natural disasters, urban sprawl, social and political shifts, climate change, out-of-state competition, and now even pandemics take these complexities to a whole new level. A shortage of migrant labor housing can easily lead to the devastation of an entire farm—thousands of acres of high-quality produce can literally die on the vine. This new board will help us navigate a rapidly changing world and keep Michigan a national leader in the food and agriculture industry.”

The following individuals will serve on the advisory board: 

  • Evangelina Alvarez, Kalamazoo
  • Craig Anderson, Lansing
  • Jesse Costilla, Bay City
  • Adam Dietrich, Conklin
  • William Groenink, Holland
  • Joann Hoganson, Walker
  • Trever Meachum, Hartford
  • Guadalupe Perales, Lansing
  • Francisco Posada, Ludington
  • Ann Rocha, Hart
  • Jose Santana Roman-Mota, Manistee
  • Dorian Slaybod, Grand Rapids
  • Beth VanDrie, Lake City
  • Mark Miezio, Suttons Bay

The first virtual board meeting is scheduled for 1:00-3:15 p.m. on Friday, February 12, 2021.

The appointee’s terms will expire on February 2, 2025.

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