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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Australian Agriculture and Labor
Australia is a large country with a relatively small labor-intensive agricultural sector that produces fruits and vegetables for 25 million residents. The red dots on the map indicate areas with horticultural commodities, many of which are in the coastal areas where most residents live.
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