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January 1999, Volume 5, Number 1

Rural America

California: Freeze, Welfare, Housing
The lemon and navel orange crops in the San Joaquin Valley were severely damaged by freezes on December 21-22, 1998; losses were put at $634

Midwest, IBP, Rogers, Subsidies
The INS, which estimates that one-fourth of the 24,000 employees in 103 meat packing plants in Nebraska are not authorized to work in the US,

Southeast: North Carolina, Kentucky
There were 150,000 Hispanics in North Carolina in 1997, making them two percent of the state's residents, according to the US Census. Other

Farm Workers

Farm Workers: Top 10
At the end of the year, many farm organizations poll their members on the top 10 challenges facing them in the year ahead, or the top ten stories

Washington: Farm Worker Housing
Washington State Governor Gary Locke has made farm worker housing a top state priority in 1999. Locke has proposed a $40 million plan to build

On November 5, 1998, an investigative hearing examiner for the Agricultural Labor Relations Board ruled that the July 23, 1998 election at Coastal

Oregon: H-2A, PCUN
Oregon's second-largest nursery, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. in Boring, became the first crop producer in the state to employ H-2A workers: 45

Mountain States
The Albuquerque Journal ran a series of stories on farm labor in southern New Mexico in October 1998. Many Mexican farm workers commute daily from

Florida: Housing, Flo-Sun
Florida's Advisory Council on Farmworker Affairs in November 1998 issued a fact sheet that asserted that 300,000 people work for wages in

Midwest: Migrants, Eggs
NBC's Dateline ran a one-hour special on migrant farm workers on December 4, 1998, following a family from south Texas that picked cucumbers in

Farm Labor Data
There is no one source of data on persons who work on US farms for wages. Each source of farm labor data can be likened to a window that permits a

California Enforcement, Workers Comp
Federal and state labor law enforcement agencies, as part of the TIPP program, conducted an "investigative survey" of 66 randomly selected

MSFW Services: MHS 402S
Budgets for the major federal MSFW programs increased for FY99, which began October 1, 1998. The Big 4 programs received almost $700 million:


H-2A Program: Changes Proposed
On October 2, 1998, the Department of Labor published "streamlining" revisions to its H-2A regulations, 20 CFR Parts 654 and 655, in the

INS: Smuggling, Not Sanctions
Despite an announcement by INS Commissioner Doris Meissner that "The focus of our worksite enforcement needs increasingly to be directed at


Mexico: Economic Changes
Mexico has had to reduce government spending several times as the price of oil fell--one-third of government revenue comes from oil sales. The PRI

NAFTA at Five
NAFTA had its fifth anniversary on January 1, 1999. There were numerous report cards, and their major conclusion was that neither the benefits nor

Big Six Produce Companies
The Big Six US Produce Companies with annual sales of $13 billion include Dole Food Company, $4.3 billion sales in 1997; Chiquita Brands

Mechanization: Grapes
Farmers have been able to increase farm output by raising productivity--making two blades of grass grow where one grew before. California and 14

FVH Commodities and Trade
US farmers harvested an average 200,000 acres of head lettuce between 1995 and 1997, and produced about 68 million hundredweight in 1997--a head of

Gardening, Landscape
The "green" industry (nursery and greenhouse sector) has two major subsectors: floriculture (cut flowers, cut cultivated greens, and

Most of South Africa's 50,000 commercial farmers are Afrikaners, the descendants of Dutch, German and French settlers who ruled the country for


Immigration, Integration, and Agriculture
Mines, Richard, Susan Gabbard, and Anne Steirman. March, 1997. A Profile of US Farmworkers. Washington: US Department of Labor. Wells,

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