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January 2007, Volume 13, Number 1

RURAL AMERICA

Immigration Reform, Agriculture, and Rural Communities conference, June 13-14, 2007
We are pleased to announce the Immigration Reform, Agriculture, and Rural Communities conference June 13-14, 2007 at UC-DC in Washington DC.

San Joaquin Valley: Poverty, Housing, Air
The Economist on December 16, 2006 noted that the San Joaquin Valley has about the same percentage of residents in poverty as the Central Appalachian

Midwest: Migrants and Meat
The Dallas Morning News reported on November 19-21, 2006 that 10 to 20 percent of workers employed in meatpacking plants are injured each year, but

Minimum Wages, Rural Employment
Democratic control of Congress is expected to result in an increase in the federal minimum wage, which has been $5.15 an hour since 1997, to $7.25 an

FARM WORKERS

California: Wages, Health
California's unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in October, the lowest rate since record keeping began in 1976. Health care, education and

UFW: D'Arrigo
On November 1, 2006, D'Arrigo Brothers of California agreed to pay $3.6 million to settle a suit involving unpaid transportation time. The company

Florida, Midwest
Florida's 2006-07 orange crop, estimated at 140 million 90-pound boxes, is the smallest since 1991-92. Forecasters project orange production to

Washington, Oregon
Washington's Farm Bureau held a November 13, 2006 conference on labor, and heard Employment Security Department Director Karen Lee explain that there

US, CA, Employment & Earnings, MEP
USDA's Farm Labor report found an average 752,000 hired workers employed on US farms in 2006, down from 780,000 in 2005. In addition, about 300,000

ALRB, NLRB, Unions
In July 2006, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled in a 2-1 decision that mandatory mediation, the September 2002 amendment to the

 
IMMIGRATION

Enforcement: Swift Fallout, Mismatches
Over 1,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on December 12, 2006 raided six Swift & Company beef and pork processing plants that employed a

Immigration Reform: AgJOBS
There were high hopes that the November 2006 elections that gave Democrats a majority in both houses of Congress would lead to approval of the

Farm Labor Shortages
Washington Apple grower Broetje Orchards reported not harvesting 400 of its 5,400 acres of apples, in part because of fewer pickers and higher wages.

H-2A, H-2B Programs
H-2A. There are three separate concepts involved in guest worker programs: certifications, visas issued and admissions. In FY05, 6,602 farm

World Briefs
Canada. Four mushroom pickers with over five years experience were fired in June 2006 by Rol-Land Farms in Kingsville, Ontario after they signed

OTHER

California, E Coli, Water
California's farm sales in 2005 were $31.7 billion, up from $28.4 billion in 2004. The value of fruit and nut crops in 2005 was $10.5 billion;

US Farm Policy, Farm Shares
Policy. The Farm Bill of 2002 expires in 2007, and produce growers are asking for federal support for marketing the fruits and vegetables they

Floriculture, Nursery
USDA reported that floriculture and nursery crop sales were $5.4 billion in 2005 in the 36 major producing states; the two sectors are sometimes

Global Warming, Water, Trees
Human activities, largely burning fossil fuels, are increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, which could raise average temperatures by four to five

Wine, Food, Restaurants
California harvested a record 3.8 million tons of wine grapes in 2005, and growers received an average price of $482 a ton. The 2006 crush is

RESOURCES

Jensen: Immigrants in Rural America
Historically, immigrants moved from rural areas abroad to US cities, as epitomized by southern and eastern Europeans arriving at Ellis Island in New

Ethical Trade and Labor
Some European and especially British consumers appear willing to hold retailers responsible for the welfare of workers who produce the goods they