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January 2010, Volume 16, Number 1

RURAL AMERICA

California: Indicators, Napa, Immigration
The Great Valley Center (www.greatvalley.org) released a report on the Central Valley economy in November 2009. The 450-mile long, 19-county Central

Midwest: Agriprocessors, Poultry
Agriprocessors. A May 12, 2008 raid at the Agriprocessors meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa resulted in the removal of a third of the 900-strong

Rural Development, Food Stamps
Youth. Partick Carr and Maria Kefalas reported that the 2,000-resident city they called "Ellis" in Iowa was typical of the brain drain from rural

FARM WORKERS

California: Heat, DLSE
Heat. There were no heat-related deaths of farm workers in 2009, compared with three in 2008, according to the California Occupational Safety and

Florida, NC, GA
Tomatoes. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has targeted buyers of Florida tomatoes since the early 1990s, trying to persuade them to require

Midwest: Child Labor, Migrants
Michigan. The US Department of Labor fined eight growers $36,000 for violating farm worker housing and child labor laws in October 2009, prompting

Northwest, Northeast
Washington. Ruby Ridge is a 2,000-cow dairy near Pasco with 40 employees. Several employees were fired, prompting 14 workers to sue Ruby Ridge on

Farm Workers: 2007, EEOC, Indigenous
Crop Farms. The USDA surveys farm employers four times a year. In 2007, USDA reported that the average employment of crop workers in California was

UFW, ALRB, NLRB, Unions
UFW. The UFW raised the dues charged to workers from two to three percent in several of its contracts on July 1, 2009. ALRB. The Agricultural

 
IMMIGRATION

AgJOBS, Immigration Reform
AgJOBS. US farmers (www.saveusfarms.org) and farm worker advocates (www.fwjustice.org) remained committed to enactment of Agricultural Job

H-2A Regs, Cases
The Department of Labor on November 17, 2009 published an interim rule for employers seeking farm workers before June 1, 2010. In January 2009, the

DHS Enforcement
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a $43 billion budget for FY10. DHS's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) received $5.4

Canada: Ontario, Maple Leaf
In Canada, labor law is provincial rather than federal. All provinces except Alberta and Ontario cover farm workers under provincial labor relations

OSCE: Trafficking in Ag
The Vienna, Austria-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has 56-member states, held a meeting in April 2009 that dealt

OTHER

Food Spending: 2008
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey, there were 121 million "consumer units" in 2008. They had an average of

California: Mechanization, Water
Mechanization. The Economist on December 10, 2009 explored agricultural robots or agribots, emphasizing the need for flexible machines to deal with

Agriculture: US, Europe
Monsanto. Monsanto introduced the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) in the 1970s; it kills just about all weeds, and breaks down quickly in the sun and

Wine, Food, Coffee & Tea
The US Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade has recognized 190 American Viticultural Areas since 1978, including 14 in the Napa Valley. Wine

Global: Land, Hunger, Dole
Land. Africa has traditionally been land abundant, with more land than could be farmed efficiently by relatively small populations. One response is

Climate Change and Agriculture
Leaders and representatives of 193 nations met in Copenhagen (http://en.cop15.dk) on December 7-18, 2009 under the United Nations Framework

RESOURCES

CRS: Ag Guest Workers
Levine emphasized that the policy debate over agricultural guest workers focuses on two questions: (1) the adequacy of the US supply of farm workers;