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July 2003, Volume 9, Number 3

Rural America

California: Teens, Air, Housing, Budget
The San Joaquin Valley has a teen birth rate that is double the state average, 95 births per thousand 15- to 19-year old girls in 2000, compared to

Meat and Poultry
Migrants are increasing their share of employment in the US meatpacking industry, and some packing plants are providing more services to

Census, Licenses, Taxes
The US had 288.4 million residents in July 2002. The US population was 70.1 percent non-Hispanic white; 12.7 percent Hispanic (38.8 million); 12.3

Education, Health, Welfare
Education. Should unauthorized children who graduate from US high schools be eligible for financial aid and be treated as in-state residents at

Farm Workers

California: Mediation, Hoes, Health/WC
Mediation. UFCW Local 1096 on April 3, 2003 made the first request for mandatory mediation after failing to negotiate an agreement with the

UFW: Health, Organizing, Chavez
The United Farm Workers union in April 2003 unveiled a bill, AB 923, that would divert the money currently saved by farmers from the state sales

Oregon and Washington
Oregon. Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner wants to require farm employers to give hired workers meal and rest breaks beginning in summer 2003. Farmers

Florida: Migrants
Florida has 4,000 registered farm labor contractors, and they have developed a variety of relationships with other entities that make it hard to

Farmworker Services
The federal Migrant Education Program is the largest of the Big 4 programs that provide over $1 billion a year in grants to local government

Water and Farm Workers
About 80 percent of California's "developed water" stored in dams, 20 million acre-feet a year, is used to irrigate 9.6 million acres of farm land.


Employer Sanctions
The federal government has brought relatively few cases charging employers with knowingly hiring unauthorized foreign workers. Despite

Guest Workers, H-2A, H-2B
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) announced a "blue-card" guest worker plan in July 2003 that would allow US employers to sponsor an unlimited number

Canada: Guest Workers
Saskatchewan in 2003 became the eighth province to participate in the Commonwealth Caribbean and Mexican Seasonal Agricultural Workers

Britain: Migrants
UK government data suggest that about 75,000 workers are hired each year for seasonal jobs on British farms and packinghouses, including


California: FVH Commodities
Fresno county in 2002 produced farm commodities worth $3.4 billion, returning to its spot as the number one US farm county. In 2001, neighboring

Europe: Trade & GMOs, CAP
President Bush asserted that Europe should stop obstructing the sale of genetically modified food, and for the first time linked Europe's 1998 ban

Shrimp, Fish, Coffee
The most important lesson of agricultural economics is that farmers respond quickly to rising prices- if the price is high, farmers are quick to

Global Trends
Globalization, the increased connectedness of people despite national borders, is reflected in increased trade and capital flows. The industrial

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