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October 2007, Volume 13, Number 4

Rural America

California Ag: Housing, Air
Housing. In the late 1990s, Riverside county cracked down on illegal mobile home parks that were home to many farm workers, saying they violated

Texas, Kansas, Iowa
The New York Times on August 27, 2007 profiled the six counties of the Rio Grande Valley that are home to 400,000 Latinos living in colonias, which

Minimum Wage
On July 24, 2007, the federal minimum wage rose from $5.15 to $5.85 an hour. It will rise again to $6.55 in July 2008, and to $7.25 in July 2009.

Farm Workers

California: Pesticides, UFW
Pesticides. The California Department of Public Health released a report in July 2007 suggesting that a high rate of autism in children may be linked

Florida, Southeast
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers launched a series of rallies across Florida in Fall 2007 to pressure Burger King to agree to pay a penny a pound

Ohio, Colorado
Ohio. A survey of workers employed in the Ohio nursery industry found 72 percent were foreign-born Latinos. Almost 80 percent earned less than $10

Northwest, Northeast
Oregon. The UFW signed its first contract in Oregon in July 2007, a three-year agreement covering 250 workers at Threemile Canyon Farms. The

Unions, Trade
The Employee Free Choice Act is a federal version of SB180/650, allowing recognition of unions without NLRB supervision. EFCA (H. R. 800, S. 1041)

Employment and Earnings
The National Agricultural Statistics Service released its July 2007 Employment and Earnings estimates, finding 1.2 million hired farm workers earning


DHS: No Match Letters
On August 10, 2007, the Department of Homeland Security announced 26 measures to discourage illegal immigration, including enlisting the Social

DHS: Other Enforcement
In September 2007, DHS sued the state of Illinois, which enacted a law prohibiting employers from using the E-Verify system to check newly hired

Congress: AgJOBS
Many agricultural leaders and their supporters in Congress said that the new DHS policy on no-match letters highlighted the need to enact the

Farm Labor Shortages, Mechanization
There were predictions of farm labor shortages in summer-fall 2007. The Wall Street Journal in a July 20, 2007 editorial claimed that "farmers

H-2A, H-2B, Global
The demise of immigration reform legislation in the Senate in May-June 2007 amid predictions of farm labor shortages prompted another round of

Canada, UK, Australia, S. Africa
FERME. There are about 3,200 Mexican workers employed on 318 Quebec farms in summer 2007, plus additional workers from Guatemala; most earn about


California: Commodities, Water
California had farm sales of $31.4 billion in 2006, down slightly from $31.7 billion in 2005, largely because of low prices for milk. As counties

US: Policy, Corn, PETA
The House in July 2007 approved a $286 billion farm bill for 2007-2012 that continues the basic system that has been in place since the 1930s.

Global: Doha, GMOs, Meat
A four-way meeting between the United States, the European Union, India and Brazil, the so-called G-4, collapsed in June 2007 in disagreements over

Food and Wine
There are a variety of food movements, including slow food and local food. Italian Carlo Petrini founded the slow food movement after organizing a


Washington State Farm Workers
This five-chapter report is a model of what states could do to review trends in their farm labor markets and shed light on often controversial issues

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