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April 2015, Volume 21, Number 2

RURAL AMERICA

California: Drought, Licenses
California is in its fourth year of drought (http://ca.gov/drought). After a wet December 2014, there was little rain in January 2015. February

Meat and Migrants
The United Food and Commercial Workers held workshops in Nebraska in March 2015 to help unauthorized workers in the meatpacking and food-processing

Labor, H-1B, Health
The US added more jobs in 2014 than in any year since 1999, an average 260,000 a month. Job growth continued in 2015, as employment rose by almost

FARM WORKERS

California: Joint Employers, Machines
Beginning July 1, 2015, all California employers must give their employees three paid sick days a year or allow them to accumulate paid sick leave at

Florida, Southeast
A February 7, 2015 article explored farm worker housing in Florida. (www.theledger.com/article/20150207/NEWS/150209463?template=printpicart) The

Northwest, Midwest, Northeast
Oregon. DOL in 2012 charged blueberry growers Pan-American Berry Growers and B&G Ditech with paying workers less than the minimum wage because up to

UFW, ALRB, Unions
March 24-31, 2015 was national farm worker week. Cesar Chavez Day was celebrated March 31, 2015, commemorating his birth March 31, 1927 in Yuma. In

 
IMMIGRATION

DAPA, DACA, Farm Workers
By executive action, President Obama on November 20, 2014 created the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program to allow an

DHS, H-2A, H-2B, H-1B
President Obama proposed a $41 billion budget for DHS in FY16, including $120 million for E-Verify. DHS supports many of its activities with

Canada, Mexico
Canada. Mexican workers are employed on Canadian farms under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, which allows guest workers to be employed in

Global Migration
France. France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls in January 2015 began a debate on "apartheid" in France, saying that even though the French constitution

OTHER

Consumer Spending 2013
The US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey (www.bls.gov/cex) reported 126 million "consumer units" or households in 2013. They

California: Machines
The Wall Street Journal in April 2015 reported that venture-capital investment in agriculture and food approached $500 million in 2014, as the cost

US: Corn, Catfish, Trade
Corn. Net farm income for 2015 is projected to be $74 billion, down from $108 billion in 2014. One reason is the falling price of corn, the most

Wine, Food
California crushed 3.9 million tons of wine grapes in 2014, down from 4.2 million tons in 2013. The average price per ton was $735 in 2014, up from

Global: African Agriculture
Africa is on the march economically. Per capita GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa rose by 4.8 percent per year between 2000 and 2013 in purchasing

Climate Change, Water
Climate change is expected to increase rain or snowfall in areas that are already relatively wet and reduce precipitation in areas that are already

RESOURCES