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e. 3. An assessment of the unique needs of farmworkers means summarizing Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker (MSFW) characteristics (including if they are predominantly from certain countries, what language(s) they speak, the approximate number of MSFWs in the State during peak season and during low season, and whether they tend to be migrant, seasonal, or year-round farmworkers). This information must take into account data supplied by WIOA Section 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) grantees, other MSFW organizations, employer organizations, and State and/or Federal agency data sources such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration

Current Narrative:

The characteristics of the MSFW population indicate a large percentage of MSFWs are Hispanic and predominantly Spanish speaking. Most migrant and seasonal farmworkers in or coming to Idaho originate from either southern parts of the United States (e.g., Texas, Arizona) or Mexico. The popularity of the H2A visa program has replaced the diminishing pool of domestic migrant seasonal farmworkers, many of which found jobs in construction or agricultural jobs closer to home. In 2021, the number of certified H2A visas rose to 6,757. The number of MFWs range from a low of 3,600 in the winter months to the peak of 18,200 in October. Much of the work is seasonal reflecting on the workforce for this industry.

Due to the difficulty in estimating farm employment on a monthly basis, IDOL staff utilize data from a variety of sources to establish MSFW population projections for the state. These include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau and the Idaho Department of Labor’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data. The need for agricultural workers is projected to remain at slightly more than 62,600 during the peak of the agricultural season, which is the month of October when most of the crops are harvested statewide.