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July 2009, Volume 15, Number 3

Rural America

California: Drought, Duroville, Budget
The Sacramento-based Latino Water Coalition drew several thousand people for a mid-April 2009 march from Mendota to Firebaugh and on to the San Luis

Agriprocessors, Greeley, Poultry
The immigration raid at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa continues to reverberate among residents and in court. The US Supreme Court on May 4, 2009

Welfare, Farm Income
The number of Americans receiving cash welfare assistance rose in 2009 for the first time since welfare reform was enacted in 1996. Among the 30

Farm Workers

California: Heat, Unemployment
Heat. Three operators of Merced Farm Labor were charged with involuntary manslaughter in the May 16, 2008 death of Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, a

Florida, North Carolina
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers won another victory when Bon Appetit, a division of the Compass Group that operates 400 college and corporate

The UFW's LM-2 financial report ( reported $6.6 million in revenue and $6.9 million in expenses in 2008. The 4,300 members at

New York, Colorado, Oregon
The New York Assembly approved the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act (S 2247 and AB 1867) in June 2009, but the bill stalled in the Senate on a

Farm Worker Services: MEP
Maine's Department of Education repaid $1.5 million to the US government in summer 2009 after agreeing that its count of children eligible for the

Unauthorized Workers, DOL, EFCA
After receiving no-match letters for 400 of its 1,000 employees in 2009, Overhill Farms told the workers to correct their information with the Social


AgJOBS: Provisions, Eligibility
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) re-introduced the Agricultural Job Opportunity Benefits and Security Act (AgJOBS) as S 1038 on May 14, 2009; a

Farm Labor: No Shortages
There were more reports of farm labor surpluses than shortages in summer 2009, as many farmers reported that more workers showed up than there were

H-2A: Old-New Rules, Cases
The US Department of Labor (DOL) "re-engineered" the H-2A program in 2008. Revised regulations effective January 17, 2009 made three major changes:

Obama: Immigration Reform?
President Obama met with 30 Congressional leaders on June 25, 2009 to begin "an honest discussion about the issues" involved in comprehensive

DHS: Border, Interior, Services
Border. DHS in May 2009 announced that it would resume construction of a "virtual fence" on the Mexico-US border. The keystone of the deterrence

Canada: SAWP, UK
Some 14,000 Mexicans were admitted to Canada under the SAWP in 2008. Most return at the end of their six- to eight-month contracts as required,


California: FVH Crops, Dairies
Batelle conducted a study for Produce Marketing Association that estimated the fresh fruit, vegetable, and horticultural specialty (floral) industry

US: Food Safety
Food Safety. There are two major federal agencies responsible for the safety of US food. USDA has about 7,800 inspectors to check meat and eggs,

Climate Change and Ag; AB 32
The House approved the 1,200-page American Clean Energy and Security Act by a 219-212 vote on June 26, 2009. The ACESA aims to reduce US greenhouse

Wine and Food
Sales of wine priced at over $25 a bottle are falling, threatening the viability of some Napa-based wineries that began selling wine with the past

Global: Flu, Dole, EU
Swine Flu. A new swine flu virus, the H1N1 strain, was declared a pandemic in June 2009. The virus mutated from pigs to humans and developed the

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