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Farm Workers in Mexico and the United States

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Board Room, Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 20004

Farm labor markets in Mexico and the US may be at inflection points. Many of the Mexican farmers who export fruits and vegetables utilize protected cultures such as greenhouses and shade structures that make their farms akin to factories and employ a mix of migrant and local workers. About 70 percent of the workers employed on US crop farms were born in Mexico, and these aging and unauthorized workers are settling, reducing migrancy and encouraging more US farmers to hire Mexican H-2A workers.

This seminar reviews the status of farm workers in Mexico and the US, Mexico-US agricultural trade, and evolving farm labor patterns, including fewer internal migrants within Mexico and the US, more Central Americans in Mexican and US agriculture, and the race between machines, migrant guest workers, and trade in both countries.

This seminar is part of a project sponsored by the Walmart Foundation to examine farm labor conditions in Mexico’s export-oriented agriculture. Please RSVP to Philip Martin and Angela Robertson before November 13, 2017 so that you are on the list for the required security to enter the building. Click here for directions to the Wilson Center.


9:00 AM: Welcome and Introduction, Duncan Wood, Wilson Center and Philip Martin, UC-Davis

9:15 AM: Farm Labor in Mexico, Agustín Escobar, CIESAS (30 minutes and 15 minutes)
Discussion: Rachael Micah-Jones, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante

10:30 AM: Break

10:45 AM: Farm Labor in the US, Philip Martin, UCD (30 minutes and 15 minutes)
Discussion: Tom Hertz, USDA

12:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM: Mexico-US Agricultural Trade, Linda Calvin and Steve Zahniser, USDA-ERS (30 minutes and 15 minutes)
Discussion: Robert Guenther, United Fresh

2:15 PM: Break

2:30 PM: Panel: Protecting Farm Workers in Mexico and the US (15 minute presentations)
Agustin Escobar, CIESAS
Philip Martin, UCD
Nagla'a El-Hodiri, GAO
Andrea Rojas, Polaris
Bruce Goldstein, Farmworker Justice

4:00 PM: Adjourn