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October 2010, Volume 16, Number 4

RURAL AMERICA

California: Drought & Jobs, Housing
Drought and Jobs. California had less than normal rainfall in 2007, 2008, and 2009 (www.water.ca.gov/drought). Restrictions were imposed on pumping

Fremont, EEOC Meatpacking
Fremont. Voters in Fremont, Nebraska approved Ordinance 5165 on June 21, 2010 on a 57-43 percent vote; it would punish landlords who rent to

Food Safety, Eggs, Produce, Obesity
Food Safety. The Pew Charitable Trusts released a study in March 2010 that estimated the health-related costs of food-borne illness in the United

FARM WORKERS

California: Overtime, Heat
Overtime. SB 1121, vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2010, would have removed the 1941 exemption from California's labor laws that

Iowa, New York
Iowa. Pioneer, Hi-Bred, a division of Dupont, and (slightly larger) Monsanto sell about two-thirds of US seed corn. Pioneer hires up to 30,000 corn

Arizona, Northwest
Arizona. Arizona enacted SB 1070 in April 2010, making it a state crime for unauthorized foreigners to be in the state. The 2008 Legal Arizona

North Carolina, Florida
North Carolina. The Farm Labor Organizing Committee in summer 2010 pressed RJ Reynolds Tobacco to sign a three-way agreement between RJ Reynolds,

UFW, ALRB, Unions
The UFW in summer 2010 took access to several large table grape operations in Kern county, including Guimarra Vineyards, Sun World and Anthony

 
IMMIGRATION

AgJOBS, Colbert, Harvest
The Agricultural Jobs, Opportunity, Benefits and Security Act (AgJOBS, S 1038, H.R. 2414) remained pending in Congress in summer 2010. Farm worker

Employer Audits, RICO
On December 12, 2006, ICE agents surrounded six Swift & Company beef and pork processing plants that employed 7,000 workers during the day shift,

H-2A Cases, H-2B
The H-2A Improvement Act, introduced in September 2010 as S 2858, would allow dairies to join sheep farmers to employ foreign workers for up to three

OTHER

Food Spending: 2009
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey reported 121 million "consumer units" in 2009 with an average of 2.5 persons, 1.3

California: Vision, Water, Growers
California had farm sales of $35 billion in 2009, down almost 10 percent from $38 billion in 2008. California's Gross State Product (GSP) in 2008

US Farms, Salmon, OECD
The US had 2.2 million farms in 2007, the same number as in 1982; a farm is a place that normally sells farm products worth $1,000 a year or more.

Climate, Sustainability
The drought and heat wave in Russia and the eastern US in summer 2010, combined with destructive storms in Pakistan and other areas, reinforced the

Global: Wheat, Biodiversity, Del Monte
Wheat. The price of wheat reached almost $13 a bushel in 2008, sparking food riots in some African and Asian countries as bread prices rose. Wheat

RESOURCES

Chavez and the UFW: A Review Essay
California's 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act was widely expected to usher in a new era for farm workers. The ALRA, the most pro-worker and