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January 2015, Volume 21, Number 1

RURAL AMERICA

California: Drought, Population
California has about eight million acres of irrigated crop land. A third is planted to perennial fruit and nut crops, a third to field crops such as

Meat and Migrants
Iowa had 168,000 Hispanic residents in 2013, making Hispanics six percent of the state's 2.9 million residents. In smaller cities with meatpacking

Labor, Education, Health
The US unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in December 2014, down from 6.7 percent a year earlier. Employment rose by 2.95 million in 2014, the

FARM WORKERS

California: Processing, Wages
Processing. Farm commodities are often packed and processed by nonfarm workers in nearby plants. For example, Taylor Farms is a major producer of

Florida, Southeast
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers released a Fair-Food label in October 2014 to identify the tomatoes picked under agreements the CIW negotiated

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. DOL threatened to put a hot-goods hold on their blueberries so that they could not be shipped across state lines unless the farms agreed to settle the charges for $210,000 in back wages in fines.

ALRB, NLRB, WHD
ALRB. Gerawan Farms dominated ALRB activities in Fall 2014. An Administrative Law Judge on September 29, 2014 began a hearing on unfair labor

 
IMMIGRATION

Obama Acts: DAPA and DACA
President Obama on June 30, 2014 promised to "fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress." After the Republicans

H-2A; H-2B
H-2A. DOL reported that almost 6,500 farm employers were certified to fill almost 117,000 farm jobs in FY14; 94 percent of employer requests were

Mexico: LA Times on Farm Workers
The US produced 29 million hundredweight (1.5 million tons) of tomatoes in 2010 and imported 1.5 million tons, mostly from Mexico, that is, almost

Europe: Migrants
On January 7, 2015, French-born terrorists attacked the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing staffers for what they said was desecration of

OTHER

California Agriculture
California's most recent agricultural report, released early in 2014, reported that the state's farm sales approached a record $45 billion in 2012,

US: Trade
The US has a trade surplus in agricultural goods. In FY14, the US is expected to export farm goods worth $150 billion and import farm goods worth

Wine, Food, Fish
Half of the 40,000 acres of vineyard in Napa county are planted in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, which raises

Global: Population, Agriculture
The world's population, 7.3 billion at the end of 2014, included 3.9 billion urban residents and 3.4 billion rural residents, meaning that 54 percent

Climate Change, Dams
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in November 2014 warned of food shortages, refugee crises, the flooding of major cities, mass

RESOURCES