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Rural Migration Blog

July 2020

Covid-19 and Agriculture: Efficiency versus Resilience

The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted national and global economies and food systems, prompting a discussion of efficiency versus resilience in supply chains, including the food supply chain. In the US, the food supply system experienced a demand shock as consumers stocked up on food and staples in March 2020 and a supply shock when meatpacking plants closed in April and May 2020 as workers contracted the virus.

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Mexican Braceros and US Farm Workers

The Bracero program refers to agreements between the US and Mexican governments that allowed Mexican workers to fill seasonal jobs on US farms. Both the 1917-21 and the 1942-64 Bracero programs that were begun in wartime and continued after WWI and WWII ended. Second, there were gaps between program regulations and workplace realities that became apparent over time and contributed to US decisions to end both programs.

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