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April 2021, Volume 27, Number 2

 Click here to download this issue as a PDF file

Rural America

California: Fresno, Water
Fresno county had over a million residents in 2021, including almost 550,000 in the city of Fresno. Median wages in Fresno county were $17 an hour in

Meat and Migrants
The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents 80 percent of US beef and pork processing workers, said that UFCW polls of its

Labor: Minimum Wage
The US had 150 million employees on nonfarm payrolls in March 2020, and 143 million in March 2021, when the unemployment rate was six percent. The US

Farm Workers

California: Covid, Labor
California?s Housing for the Harvest program was revived in March 2021 with an additional $24 million. The program began in summer 2020, and spent

Florida, Southeast
Florida and Texas did not prioritize farm workers for Covid, drawing criticism from NGOs seeking federal and state support to educate farm workers

Northeast, Midwest, Northwest
Some 46 million or 14 percent of US residents live in rural areas, defined as counties that do not include a place with more than 50,000 residents.

UFW, ALRB, DOL
In January 2021, President Biden placed a 22-inch bronze bust of Cesar Chavez in the Oval Office. First lady Jill Biden visited to the UFW?s Forty

Immigration

Biden: Immigration Reform
President Biden fulfilled a campaign promise and encouraged Congress to enact the US Citizenship Act of 2021. The 353-page USCA would offer an

DHS: CBP, ICE, USCIS
CBP. Apprehensions of unauthorized foreigners just inside the Mexico-US border began rising after Joe Biden was elected president in November 2020

FWMA, H-2A; H-2B
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act (HR 1603) was approved by the House on a 247-174 vote in March 2021 with the support of 30 Republicans. Senators

Canada, Mexico
The first labor complaint under the USMCA was filed in March 2021 by the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante and other worker NGOs with the Mexican

Europe, Asia
Most EU countries restricted the entry of foreigners in spring 2021 to slow the spread of mutating Covid viruses, dealing another blow to the

Global: Covid, Trade
Death rates from Covid are much higher in richer than in poorer countries. As of March 2021, there were almost 1,900 deaths per 100,000 residents in

Other

California Agriculture
California?s 70,000 farms sold farm commodities worth $50 billion in 2019, almost twice the $28 billion in farm sales of Iowa. The six commodities

US Ag, Trade
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said his priorities are Covid, social justice and climate change, and strengthening regional food systems and helping

Food, Wine
Amazon, which bought Whole Foods in 2017, is opening more Amazon Fresh and Just Walk Out stores without cashiers. Amazon Fresh emphasizes low prices,

Climate Change
Texas and other southern states experienced unusually cold weather in February 2021 as the Arctic polar vortex, normally kept in Canada by the


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