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January 2006, Volume 12, Number 1

Rural America

San Joaquin Valley: New Appalachia?
The Congressional Research Service released a 353-page report in December 2005 that found per capita income in the eight-county San Joaquin Valley

Midwest, Southeast
Leaders of Worthington, a city of 11,000 in southwest Minnesota, complained to the governor about unauthorized workers who used false documents to

California: Population, Budget
About 500,000 California residents left the state in 2004, while 400,000 US residents of other states moved to California. Many of those leaving

Polls, Food Stamps
Opinion polls find that rural or nonmetro residents are more likely to agree that there are too many immigrants in the US, and that immigrants take

Farm Workers

California: Pesticides, EEOC, SSNs
Enforcement. California's Labor and Workforce Development Agency ( has launched the Triple E-C, the Economic and Employment

UFW, Food Unions, Prop 75
The UFW's strawberry contract with Dole, which bought Coastal Growers, covers pickers in Oxnard and Watsonville and expires December 31, 2005.

ALRB: Decisions, Make Whole
Irene Raymundo was appointed to the ALRB in November 2005, giving the agency three board members. Ed Blanco has been acting as General

Florida, North Carolina
Florida's first state minimum wage went into effect in May 2004, raising the state's wage from the federal $5.15 to $6.15 an hour. In January 2006,

Apples, Oregon
Dwarf apple and pear trees are being planted close together, sometimes only two or three feet apart, and with rows nine or 10 feet apart, and then

MSFW Services, Data
George Ortiz, founder and CEO of the California Human Development Corp in 1967, is the largest nonprofit agency in Sonoma County. CHDC began as an


Farm Labor Shortages
In Spring 2005, farmers in the California-Arizona border-area complained of too few workers to harvest lettuce and other vegetables. The farmers

Legislation: House, AgJOBS
Many House Republicans, including the chair of House Judiciary Committee, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), want to put new enforcement

RICO, H-2A, H-2B
RICO. In March 2000, a class-action suit was filed on behalf of several legal immigrant workers by Hagens Berman LLP in Yakima, Washington under the

Braceros, Canada
About 10 percent of the wages earned by Bracero guest workers between 1942 and 1949 were withheld and returned to Mexican banks by US banks. These

UK: Gangmasters
The Gangmasters (Licensing) Act of July 2004 required farm and fishery labor contractors as well as those who supply workers to food processing


How we Eat: 2004
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey for 2004, there were 116 million "consumer units," with an average of 2.5

Grapes, Strawberries, Land
California's farm sales were $32 billion in 2004, almost double the $17 billion of number two Texas. California produces over 350 crops, including

Trade: Doha Round
Trade negotiators from 149 countries met in Hong Kong in December 2005 to conclude the Doha round of trade negotiations, which began in the Qatari

FVH, Breakfast
The FAO estimates that there were 52 million hectares of fruit globally, and 51 million hectares of vegetables, and that production was 497 million

Wine, Olive Oil, Caviar
California produced 3.2 million tons of wine grapes in 2005, just shy of the record 3.3 million tons in 2000 and up from 8.8 million tons in 2004.

Global Agriculture
The US "Food for Peace" program, begun in 1954, distributed 3.4 million metric tons of commodities to use as food aid in about 80 countries at a cost


ILO-FAO: 450 Million Farm Workers
The ILO-FAO issued a 91-page report in October 2005 that estimated 450 million or 41 percent of the total 1.1 million strong global farm work force

Multinational Codes of Conduct
Many NGOs have negotiated international framework agreements with multinationals to achieve goals ranging from protecting the environment to avoiding

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