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May 16, 2022

The H-2A Program in 2022

The H-2A program allows US farmers who anticipate shortages of seasonal workers to be certified by DOL to recruit and employ H-2A workers to fill seasonal jobs for up to 10 months. There is no cap on the number of H-2A workers who can be admitted, and about 10,000 US farm employers were certified to fill 317,000 seasonal farm jobs with H-2A workers in FY21. Some employers file multiple applications, explaining why DOL deals with over 16,000 employer applications a year.

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Mexico and USMCA

The USMCA that supplanted NAFTA and links 500 million people with a combined GDP of $24 trillion turns two on July 1, 2022. Two-way trade between Mexico and the US totaled $543 billion in 2020, between Canada and the US $540 billion, and between Canada and Mexico $15 billion.

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Oregon Agriculture and Labor

Oregon had 37,600 farms in 2017 that produced farm commodities worth $5 billion, including 1,000 farms that each had sales of $1 million or more. Most of the state’s farms, 21,000, are engaged in animal agriculture, including 12,000 beef cattle ranches. Fewer than 10 percent of the state’s farms are greenhouses and nurseries, the commodities that account for a quarter of the state’s farm sales.

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Texas Agriculture and Labor

Texas has more farms, 248,400 in the 2017 COA, and more cattle, over 12 million, than any other state. Texas farm sales were $25 billion in 2017, including $18 billion from livestock and $7 billion from crops. The 3,400 Texas farms with annual sales of $1 million or more, 1.4 percent of the state’s farms, accounted for three-fourths of Texas farm sales.

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April 12, 2022

Global Floriculture

Flowers and indoor potted plants are grown locally or imported from other countries. Most cut flowers and indoor potted plants are sold in North America and Western Europe, and many are imported. The major sources of flowers that cross national borders include Colombia and Ecuador for North America and Kenya and Ethiopia for Western Europe. The Netherlands is the global hub for trade in flowers and ornamental plants.

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Child Labor and Agriculture

The ILO defines child labor as work that “deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.” The ILO notes that whether the work of children is “child labor” depends on the child’s age, the type and hours of work performed, the conditions under which the work is performed. Hazardous child labor is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

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