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January 2005, Volume 11, Number 1

Rural America

Central Valley: Jobs, Housing, Air
California's Central Valley, which stretches 450 miles from Bakersfield in the south to Redding in the North, has five of the state's 15 largest

Coastal California: Housing
Napa voters in 2002 approved Measure L, which allowed farm worker housing to be constructed on land zoned for agricultural purposes outside the

Southeast, Midwest
Tobacco. Southeastern tobacco farmers are the largest employers of H-2A guest workers, but the number of migrants could fall sharply because of a

The Census defines rural as places with fewer than 2,500 residents. Many residents of towns with 3,000 people consider themselves to be rural, but

Farm Workers

ALRB, Horses, NLRB, Health
ALRB. Daniel Zingale, a member of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, was sued in November 2004 by Reedley tree fruit grower Dan Gerawan, who

UFW: Gallo, Pictsweet, DiGiorgio, Unions
Gallo. The UFW won an election in 1994 to represent about 300 Gallo of Sonoma workers. The first contract, signed in 2000, expired on November 1,

Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
Midwest. The Michigan Migrant Legal Assistance Project sued Brady Farms, a blueberry grower, on behalf of 3,000 workers employed there between 1999

Southeast, Florida
Workers harvesting sweet potatoes in North Carolina in October 2004 were reportedly paid piece rate wages of $0.40 per 30-pound basket; workers can

Health and Insurance
A study of 600 Mexican migrant workers in Fresno and San Diego counties found that one percent are infected with HIV, three times the rate of HIV


Bush: Migrants
During his year-end press conference on December 20, 2004, President Bush said: "it makes sense to allow the good-hearted people who are coming here

H-2As, Braceros
Some 6,564 farm employers requested 45,716 H-2A workers in FY03, and DOL certified the need of 6,360 farmers for 44,033 workers, that is, 97 percent

Border, Sanctions
The Border Patrol reported 1,159,802 apprehensions on the Mexico-US border in FY04, up from 931,557 in FY03 and 955,310 in FY02. Each person

Canada: Migrants
Canada's Caribbean and Mexican Seasonal Workers Program admitted almost 19,000 seasonal farm workers in 2004, including 300 from Guatemala. Most


Agriculture, Water, Ads
California's farm sales totaled $28 billion in 2003, including $7 billion from livestock, dairy and poultry products and $21 billion from the sale of

Wine, Olive Oil, Fois Gras
Wine. Most of the 2.7 million tons of grapes crushed for wine in 2003 were grown in the Central Valley of California; two million tons or 75 percent.

Obesity, Food Safety
Since 1960, Americans gained an average one inch in height, so that men averaged 69 inches and women 64 inches in 2002. They are also 25 pounds

Nafta, Cafta
A NAFTA-appointed panel in November 2004 concluded that the unintended spread of US genetically modified corn in Mexico -- where the species

China, Brazil, Shrimp
China. About 700 million people live in rural China, where the transition to a market economy began in 1979. However, incomes in urban China are


ALRA at 30
On September 30, 2004, a University of California-Davis conference attracted 60 participants to discuss the impacts of California's Agricultural

COA 2002: California and US
The US conducts a Census of Agriculture in years ending in 2 and 7, and the 2002 COA reported that there were 2.1 million farms averaging 441 acres,

QCEW: Farm Worker Jobs and Wages
The BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program ( provides a monthly count of jobs and a quarterly

Steven Street: Beasts of the Fields
Richard Steven Street has produced the definitive history of California farm workers, accompanied by 270 photos of farm workers. Street is an

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