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April 2006, Volume 12, Number 2

Rural America

San Joaquin Valley
Joel Kotkin and William Frey call the Central Valley the "third California" and assert that the share of Californians in "inland California" will

Northeast, Southeast, RICO
Northeast. Many of the 2,500 Somali refugees in Lewiston, Maine, which has 36,000 people, are having trouble finding jobs; at least half are

Farm Workers

California Farm Workers
California's Employment Development Department reported that employers posted 23 listings in the CalJOBS system between July and October 2005 in

UFW: Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times published a series of articles on January 8-11, 2006, highly critical of the UFW, asserting that "Chavez's heirs run a web of

US Unions
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union called for an election in 1997 at the Smithfield Packing Company plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, 75

Florida, North Carolina
Immokalee farm labor contractor Abel Cuello Jr. pleaded guilty to a federal charge that he conspired to violate US laws barring involuntary

UFW-Global, Oregon
Los Angeles-based Global Horizons, which brought 170 Thai workers to the Yakima Valley in 2004 on H-2A visas to harvest apples, had its labor


Senate: No Agreement
The Senate debated immigration reform in March-April 2006, but had not approved a bill when the sessions recessed on April 7. There appeared to be

Farm Labor Shortages
The Sacramento Bee on January 30, 2006 reported that fewer young and legal Mexican workers were crossing the border daily to harvest winter

H-2A, H-2B
H-2A. The H-2A program permits US farm employers to hire legal foreign workers to fill temporary farm jobs, usually those lasting 10 months or less.

Braceros: History, Compensation
The US had two Bracero or guest worker programs under which Mexicans were recruited to work on US farms under the terms of bilateral agreements. The

Canada, Australia, Taiwan
Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker program admits about 18,000 Mexican and Caribbean farm workers each year for up to ten months. Miguel


Immigration and Agriculture Conference
We are pleased to announce a June 14-15, 2006 conference on Immigration Reform: Implications for Farmers, Farm Workers, and US Agriculture in Washington DC. The purpose of the conference is to assess the provisions of pending (or enacted) immigration reform proposals, the role of legal and unauthorized farm workers in US agriculture, the role of MSFW programs in integrating migrants and their children, and the longer term implications of immigration on agricultural competitiveness and rural communities. Participation is by invitation. If you would like to participate, please contact Philip Martin-- [email][/email] as soon as possible for an agenda and conference details.

California: Commodities, Water
A third of California residents are Hispanic and Hispanics are over 95 percent of hired farm workers. However, over 90 percent of farmers, and an

US Ag, Food Aid, Obesity
The 2006 Economic Report of the President reviews agricultural policy, noting that farming households had 25 percent of US residents in 1930,

Wine, Caviar, Coffee
Americans bought a record 300 million cases of wine in 2005, spending $25 billion. About 187 million or 62 percent of these cases were produced in

Avian Flu
Avian or bird flu (H5N1 virus) spread from Asia in 2003 to Western Europe and Africa during the winter and spring of 2006. Birds in 40 countries and

Global: GMOs, FVH Trade, Ethanol
In 2005, some 8.5 million farmers planted a record 222 million acres of biotech crops in 21 countries. Over half of the GMO crops were planted in


Text for figure-Passel Illegals
The Pew Hispanic Center estimated there were 7.2 million unauthorized foreign workers in the US in March 2005, making them almost five percent of US

The New Rural Poverty
This three-part eight-chapter book deals with rural poverty associated with immigration in rural and agricultural areas. Part 1 has three chapters

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