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October 2008, Volume 14, Number 4

Rural America

California: San Joaquin Valley
The Census reported that Hispanics were 51 percent of the residents of the eight-county San Joaquin Valley on July 1, 2007. In Tulare, Merced and

Meat: Agriprocessors, Tyson, JBS
In FY07, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency arrested 4,940 migrants in workplace raids and made 863 criminal arrests. In FY08, ICE

Farm Workers

California: Heat Deaths, Drought, Data
There were at least six heat-related deaths among California farm workers in summer 2008, prompting California's Occupational Safety and Health

Florida, North Carolina
CIW. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers in May 2008 signed an agreement with Burger King that requires the Florida growers of the tomatoes it buys to

Other States
Washington. The Washington State Farmworker Housing Trust ( interviewed 2,845 farm workers in 2006 and learned that

California: UFW, ALRB
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) spoke to several hundred UFW members and supporters at its convention in Fresno on August 22-24. A small crowd

NLRB, Unions, BLS
The National Labor Relations Board's General Counsel on July 22, 2008 issued a memo clarifying that workers who did not report to work in order to

Migrant Education
The Migrant Education Program (MEP) published regulations on July 29, 2008 that provided State Education Agencies (SEAs) with guidance to identify


AgJOBS, Shortages
The Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits and Security Act (AgJOBS), which would legalize up to 1.5 million farm workers and make employer-friendly

H-2A, H-2B Programs
H-2A Program. The US State Department processed 50,791 H-2A work visas for foreign farm workers in FY07. The US Department of Labor certified the

Candidates, E-Verify, Unauthorized
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL) have supported "comprehensive immigration reform," which means coupling more enforcement with a

Canada: SAWP
Canadian farmers import foreign workers under several programs. The largest is the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), which admits workers

Australia, New Zealand, UK
Australia relies increasingly on foreign Working Holidaymakers and students to fill seasonal farm jobs. Over 135,000 Working Holidaymaker visas were


California: $37 billion in 2007
California's farm sales were a record $36.6 billion in 2007, up 15 percent from $31.8 billion for 2006; exports are expected to top $10 billion in

Salmonella, COOL
The Food and Drug Administration in July 2008 announced that the cause of the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that sickened more than 1,400 people

Wine and Food
California expects to crush 3.4 million tons of wine grapes in 2008, and grower prices are expected to be higher. About 70 percent of the state's

Global: Doha, Food Prices, Water
The Doha Development Agenda trade negotiations, launched in 2001, apparently collapsed in July 2008. The sticking point was a demand by developing


Farm Workers: USDA, Indigenous
USDA Profile. USDA released a report, "Profile of Hired Farmworkers, 2008," that estimated there were an average of 752,000 hired farm workers in

Dust Bowl Migration
In 1930, California had 5.7 million residents, and the population shrank as 120,000 Mexicans were repatriated. In the 1930s, farmers from the

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