Document Type


Lead Author Type

CIS Masters Student


Dr. Jonathan Engelsma,

Embargo Period



Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers (MSFWs) travel each year to help cultivate and harvest crops in various regions of the United States. They often struggle to find resources such as education, health care or legal services when they get to a new place. On the other side, agencies with limited outreach budget also struggle to connect with them. Meanwhile, growers pay thousands of dollars for recruiting farmworkers every harvest season but often fail in finding enough laborers, while lots of unemployed farmworkers are waiting.

To estimate the potential of using a mobile app to address this problem within the farm worker community, we interviewed more than 70 farmworkers, agencies, and growers through Grand Valley State University’s Customer Discovery Program in September 2016. We found a strong demand for a convenient and portable way to connect farmworkers, agencies, and farmers to real-time information.

This project is to build a native mobile application named “AgHelp!” for iOS phone users, written in Swift 3.x. It provides a platform for connecting migrant seasonal farmworkers, agencies, growers, and potentially Mexican stores. Bringing these groups together has never been done. “AgHelp!” will assist migrant farmworkers to locate resources more conveniently and help growers find and retain laborers. It also will help agencies locate seasonal workers who are not living in labor camps, and increase the number of MSFWs served. The notification feature of this app will alert users about the latest events, jobs, and news, so that it will help secure farmworkers’ jobs and lives when they are traveling.