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October 2005, Volume 11, Number 4

RURAL AMERICA

San Joaquin Valley, Napa
The Central Valley's unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent in June 2005, narrowing the gap from the usual five-percent-higher-than-the-statewide-rate

Meat and Migrants
US meat production involves fewer and larger operations, often in remote areas, raising questions about the labor and community impacts of an

Census: Population, Poverty
Between April 2000 and July 2004, the US population rose from 281 million to 294 million, including 198 million whites, 41 million Hispanics, 39

FARM WORKERS

California: Heat, Pesticides, Health Care
The California Legislature voted in September 2005 to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.75 to $7.25 an hour in July 2006 and to $7.75 in July

UFW: Giumarra, Gallo, CA-US Unions
The UFW lost its biggest organizing drive in years when 3,000 workers at Giumarra Vineyards voted for no union on September 1, 2005. The vote was

Northwest, Midwest
Washington. Southwest Washington berry growers complained of labor shortages in summer 2005, reporting that even when they offered housing to

Florida, Southeast
The Palm Beach Post on July 31, 2005 reported that many of the state's nurseries violate pesticide safety laws, and that nursery workers were at

Data, Services
Congress restored $76 million in funding for the National Farmworker Jobs Program, which provides English and job training services to migrant and

 
IMMIGRATION

Shortages, AgJOBS
There were many reports of "farm labor shortages" in the Central Valley. The Fresno Bee on August 7, 2005 reported that the supply of farm workers

Sanctions, FLCs, Labor Markets
Canyon County in southwest Idaho filed a racketeering lawsuit against several agricultural companies accused of hiring illegal immigrants in an

Thai H-2As, Braceros
The state of Washington reached a $230,000 settlement with California-based Global Horizons in September 2005 over the treatment of 170 Thai workers

Canada, Europe
The United Food and Commercial Workers Canada persuaded Ontario to extend the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act to also cover

OTHER

California: Commodities, Air, Water
California's farm sales reached a record $31.8 billion in 2004, up almost $5 billion from 2003 due to higher prices for many commodities. Ventura

Wine: California, Global
California is expecting a three million ton wine grape harvest from 475,000 bearing acres in 2005. There are 40,000 acres that will soon be

Pesticides, Obesity, Flu
The two most commonly used insecticides in US agriculture, malathion and chlorpyrifos, show up at detectable levels in elementary school-age children

Farm Trade, Food Aid
Global farm output was worth $1.2 trillion in 2000, global trade in farm goods was about $450 billion, and global farm subsidies were $200 billion.

International
Brazil is mechanizing its cane harvest, largely to avoid the environmental effects of burning cane fields for hand harvesters. Cane plants form

RESOURCES

PPIC on San Joaquin Valley
California's Central Valley, which stretches 450 miles from Bakersfield in the south to Redding in the North, is one of the fastest-growing areas of

Worker Data
NAWS. The NAWS interviews farm workers three times a year around the US. About 36 percent of all US crop workers are interviewed, and 44 percent of