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October 2023, Volume 29, Number 4

 Click here to download this issue as a PDF file

Rural America

California: Water, Housing
After three dry years, California received record rain and snow in 2022-23, over 33 inches, ending drought conditions. Tropical Storm Hilary brought

Meat and Migrants
A 16-year-old Guatemalan died in a Mar-Jac Poultry plant in Mississippi in July 2023, re-igniting a debate over the US policy of sending foreign

Labor, Fissures
The US unemployment rate remained below four percent in 2023 even as the labor force expanded. More workers joined the labor force as the labor force

Farm Workers

California: Farm Employment
Fewer California crop employers are hiring workers directly. In 2000, average employment on California crop farms was 190,000 and average FLC

Florida, Southeast
Florida state law requires most employers with 25 or more employees to use E-Verify to check new hires after July 1, 2023. One result is complaints

Northeast, Midwest, Northwest
Maine. The governor in July 2023 vetoed a bill that would have required employers to pay farm workers the state’s $13.80 an hour minimum wage, up

The United Farm Workers administers the RFK medical insurance plan for covered workers. SB 145 allows the state to reimburse the RFK plan up to $3


Migrants: Surge and Backlash
Title 42, the public health measure that allowed unauthorized foreigners who are encountered just inside the US to be returned to Mexico, ended on

DHS: Border
Congress funds the federal government via 12 appropriations bills, many of which contain riders that dictate how funds are to be spent. Congress

H-2A: DOL, Signet
DOL in September 2023 announced new regulations to allow H-2A workers to have visitors in employer-provided housing and require buses and vans used

Canada, Mexico
Canada added a million immigrants and temporary workers in 2022, and plans to admit 465,000 immigrants in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025.

Europe, Asia
The foreign-born share of the population is about 15 percent in the US and many European countries, including France, Spain and the UK. In almost all

Global Migration
Aging. The world’s population is aging as fertility declines and people live longer. Most countries have pay-as-you-go social support systems that


California’s farm sales of $51 billion in 2021 were 1.5 times the farm sales of Iowa, the second-leading farm state. California accounted for 12

Net farm income is forecast to be $141 billion in 2023, down from a record $183 billion in 2022. Cash receipts from farm commodities are expected to

Food, Wine
Ozempic (Wegovy), Mounjaro, and similar weight-loss drugs emphasize the importance of brain chemistry to determine a person’s weight. Weight-loss

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