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October 1998, Volume 4, Number 4

Rural America

Census: Hispanics Spread Out
On September 4, 1998 the US Census released population estimates for states and counties. There were 268 million residents in 1997, including 221

California: Welfare, Development, Options
The San Francisco Chronicle ran a series of reports in mid-October that emphasized that the number of poor residents is increasing alongside

Farm Worker Housing
It has been increasingly difficult to find adequate and affordable housing for workers who move into rural areas to fill seasonal farm jobs.

Farm Workers

UFW Loses at Coastal
On July 23, 1998, the Coastal Berry Farmworkers Committee won an election to represent the 1,000 farm workers employed at Coastal Berry Inc. by a

Florida: Sugar Settles
U.S. Sugar Corp. agreed in July 1998 to pay $5.65 million to settle suits that the company underreported the hours of work of up to 20,000 H-2

MIdwest, Southeast
The peak number of migrants in the Red River Valley of North Dakota employed to thin and weed sugar beets is reportedly falling from the usual

Child Labor, Pesticides, Safety
A General Accounting Office released a report September 17, 1998 that estimated that 128,000 to 155,000 youths age 15-17 were hired for farm work

MSFW Services: LSC, MHS
California Governor Wilson signed a $75 billion budget for 1998-99; he vetoed $2.5 million for migrant and seasonal farm worker

Transnational Migrants
A profile of a crew chief at Oceanside, San Diego county, flower grower Mellano & Co; Mellano starts new workers at the minimum wage of $5.75

Farm Labor Data
US Department of Agriculture's July 1998 Farm Labor publication reported that there were 1.45 million hired workers employed on US farms during the


Congress: Guest Workers
In October, Congress did NOT approve a new temporary foreign worker program for agriculture. The proposal not accepted by Congress was

Labor Shortages California, Other States
During the summer of 1998, grower organizations announced a series of farm labor shortages, asserting that there were only half the workers needed

DOL: H-2A Changes
The Department of Labor on October 2 proposed changes to streamline the H-2A program (Federal Register, 53243-53249). The proposed changes

INS: Enforcement
The Wall Street Journal profiled the practice of IBP Inc., the largest meatpacking company in the US, to recruit workers in Mexico. IBP runs


California: $27 Billion Sales
California had record farm sales of $26.8 billion in 1997, up from $25.3 billion in 1996; Texas had farm sales of $15.9 billion. About $6.7

Agribusiness: Grapes, Apples, Olives
Tri-Valley Growers, the largest multi-commodity cooperative in California, lost $53 million in 1997-98, compared to a profit of $19 million in

Mexico, NAFTA
The purpose of NAFTA is to reduce trade barriers between Canada, Mexico and the US. The resulting economies of scale and the efficiencies

Dutch Flowers, Asparagus
In 1996, the Netherlands had about two million hectares of farm land, including 109,000 hectares devoted to horticulture and 12,200 hectares

Canadian Guest Workers
Canada launched a program to admit temporary farm workers from the Caribbean on the basis of a government-to-government memo of understanding

Russia, EU
Russia is less self sufficient in food production in 1998 than it was during Soviet times reflecting, according to some experts, continued control


Books and Reports
Bugarin, Alicia and Elias Lopez. 1998. Farmworkers in California. California Research Bureau. CRB 98-007.

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