Migrant workers are essential workers

close up of person holding potatoes in field

Thousands of migrant farm workers travel seasonally to Minnesota each year to help with cultivating and harvesting crops in several parts of the state. Workers are employed seasonally in everything from fieldwork to harvesting vegetables to canning and meatpacking. Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Services is here to help farmworkers and the employers who hire them.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are additional challenges for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers. In some cases this is due to misinformation about the ability to travel for essential work. Migrant workers are allowed to travel to perform their essential work. In other cases, there are challenges because available housing that may not provide for social distancing and isolation in case a worker or family worker becomes sick. Some housing used in the past by Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers may not be suitable this season because of shared dining and restroom facilities for multiple families. 

Employers who rely on Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers are reaching out to learn how to provide a safe workplace for workers. General social distancing and safe workplace guidance from the CDC is available for employers. We hope to provide more specific information regarding farm and food packing and processing work when this guidance becomes available.

Resources are available in English and Spanish to help Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers keep themselves and their families safe. Additional resources in multiple languages are available on the COVID-19 materials page of the Minnesota Department of Health website.