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July 2004, Volume 10, Number 3

Rural America

California: San Joaquin Valley, Refugees
California had a labor force of 17.5 million in 2003, including 16.3 million employed workers and 1.2 million unemployed workers, for an average

California: Housing, Budget
Housing. The San Joaquin Valley is attracting "housing equity refugees" from the Bay Area and southern California, people in coastal areas whose

Migrants, Meat and Poultry
Laotian immigrants are reportedly buying small poultry farms in the southeastern US, including 75 who bought farms in northwest Arkansas in 2003. A

Census, Welfare
California adult recipients of cash assistance under CalWORKS (the name for TANF in California) began reaching their five-year time limit for

Farm Workers

Wages, CLRA, Productivity
FELS ( reported that its farm employer-members paid an average $7.70 an hour to entry-level general laborers in Spring 2004, and that

UFW Series, Unions
The Bakersfield Californian ran a series of articles on the UFW in May 2004 ( The UFW's showcase collective

Washington. Washington plans to spend $2.8 million to build and operate seasonal housing for migrant farm workers in the Wenatchee Valley over the

Florida: Laws, Trafficking, Tomatoes
Florida in May 2004 revived the Florida Agricultural Workers Safety Act (FAWS), which expired in 1998. HB 1307 increases penalties from $1,000 to

Northeast. Midwest
The Justice for Farmworkers Campaign marched to Albany in May 2004 to press for state Senate approval of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act,

Farm Worker Services, Data
For the past three years, President Bush has proposed eliminating the National Farmworker Jobs Program, or NFJP, which provided $76.6 million in FY04


AgJOBS Setback
The Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act (AgJOBS) was not attached to must-pass bills in the Senate in July 2004. Supporters

H-2A, H-2B Programs
The North Carolina Growers Association, headed by Stan Eury, brings 8,500 H-2A workers from Mexico to the US each year. Most H-2A workers report

Mexico-Canada Guest Workers
The Commonwealth Caribbean (1966) and Mexican (1974) Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) admits foreign workers for seasonal employment on

Britain, Russia
UK. British farmers employ over 25,000 mostly Eastern European workers to harvest and pack fruits and vegetables, and disputes about their housing

Border, Interior Enforcement
Border. Apprehensions of Mexicans just inside the US border totaled 1.1 million in FY03, and are on track to top 1.2 million in FY04; there were


We are pleased to announce two conferences at UC-Davis open to the public.
On Thursday, September 30, 2004, " Regulating Farm Labor Relations: The ALRA at 30," reviews changes in the farm labor market and changes in farm

California, US Agriculture
The Giannini Foundation sponsored a conference on May 28, 2004 to discuss a new 12-chapter book, California Agriculture: Dimensions and Issues

Water and Wine
California farmers, who use about 80 percent of the state's storable or developed water, have been getting more efficient in water use, which means

Subsidies, GMOs, Obesity
The OECD reported that farmers in rich countries received $257 billion in subsidies and payments in 2003, making subsidies equivalent to a third of

Every year, about $55 billion in fish products is traded internationally, including a third from developing countries. Fisheries employ 25 million

Coca, Sugar, Brazil
Coca. Colombia had a peak 400,000 acres of coca in 2001, but acreage has since plunged by 80,000 because of US-financed coca eradication efforts that


Schlosser and Crister
Writer Eric Schlosser, author of a 1995 Atlantic article on strawberry pickers and Fast Food Nation, is back with a book that includes essays on

Dynamics of Hired Farm Labor
This four-part, 18-chapter book includes papers presented at a conference in October 1999. The papers, written by economists, sociologists and

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