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April 2004, Volume 10, Number 2

Rural America

California: Agricultural Areas
San Joaquin Valley. The problems of the San Joaquin Valley are well known: high unemployment; poverty; bad air quality; and high teen-pregnancy and

Midwest, Southeast
The Los Angeles Times on February 16, 2004 profiled six brothers from Los Cerritos, Michoacan who migrated to Oxnard, California to pick strawberries

Census, Nonmetro
The US Census Bureau released new projections that foresee the number of US residents rising from 282 million in 2000 to 420 million in 2050. In

Farm Workers

California: Buses, WC, UI
Company Buses. California farm employers who require employees to ride on company buses to and from the fields must pay the workers for their travel

UFW: Pictsweet, Gallo, Chavez
The UFW in February 2004 endorsed John Kerry for president. Teresa Heinz Kerry later traveled to Forty Acres west of Delano and said "Cesar Chavez

Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
The Toledo, Ohio-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee continues to picket stores that sell pickles from North Carolina-based Mt. Olive. FLOC, wants

Florida: Oranges, Vans
Mechanization, driven by international competition rather than labor shortages, is spreading in Florida orange groves. Most Florida oranges continue

Farm Worker Services, Data
President Bush proposed eliminating 65 federal programs in FY05, including the $77 million a year program that provides training and other services


AgJOBS, Bush, H-visas
The Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits and Security Act of 2003 (S.1645 and H.R. 3142) continued to gain support. Democratic presidential

Congress: Guest Workers
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R.-Ga.), the chair of the Senate immigration subcommittee, introduced S.2185 to reform the H-2A program; a similar bill,

Tyson, Sanctions
Tyson Foods told 268 workers at its Dakota City, Nebraska, meatpacking plant in March 2004 not to report to work again until they could provide work

Hoffman Curbed?
The US Supreme Court in March 2002 ruled that unauthorized workers who are wrongly fired for union organizing are not entitled to back pay for the

Canada, Australia, UK
Canada's Caribbean and Mexican Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program began with 264 Jamaican seasonal workers in 1966 and today admits about 18,000


California Agriculture
Wine. The wine grape crush was 3.4 million tons in 2003, 11 percent below 2002's 3.8 million tons, but winegrape prices rose only slightly, from $462

Water: Drought, CVP
Most of the West is headed into six years of drought, with experts estimating that it would take perhaps 15 years to refill Lake Powell on the

Trade, GMOs
The proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) may pit US sugar farmers against rice growers- sugar believes it would lose, while rice

Africa: Zimbabwe, Kenya
Over half of Zimbabwe's 12 million residents are short of food, and the UN asked the government to release some of the 236,000 tons of corn in its

Europe: Migrants, Enlargement
An organization of unions, the ICFTU, estimated that 500,000 of the 4.5 million seasonal workers employed in agriculture each year in the current

How We Eat: 2002, Obesity
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey for 2002, there were 112 million "consumer units," with an average of 2.5

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