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January 2011, Volume 17, Number 1

Rural America

California: ACS, Housing, Budget
Unemployment rates approached 17 percent in Fresno and Tulare counties in Fall 2010 as farm employment fell with the completion of harvests;

Meatpacking: Postville, Fremont
Postville. The major employers in the 2,300-resident city of Postville, Iowa are a kosher meatpacking plant, Agriprocessors; a poultry processor;

Food Safety, Obesity
Some 150,000 US facilities, and 250,000 facilities abroad, produce food for US consumers. Many US retailers require food production facilities to be

Jobs, SNAP, Poverty
Jobs. The US unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in November 2010, meaning that 15.1 million workers were jobless. Private-sector employers added

Farm Workers

California: Jobs, Heat, Overhill
Jobs. High unemployment has resulted in deficits in state unemployment insurance funds, which are financed by payroll taxes paid by employers (and

Florida: CIW
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (, which claims 4,000 members, won a major victory on November 16, 2010 when the Florida Tomato

Vermont, Arizona, Michigan
The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since July 24, 2009. Ten states adjust their minimum wages based on inflation and the CPI: Arizona,

UFW, ALRB, Unions
UFW. Jerry Brown, closely allied with Cesar Chavez and the UFW when he first was elected governor in 1974, is likely to be presented with card-check

Federal MSFW Programs
Agriculture is the major port of entry for some of the least-educated immigrants arriving in the US. The average immigrant farm worker has less than


Fresno Bee: Migrants
The Fresno Bee on November 14, 2010 began a series of articles that emphasized the contradictions of opposing illegal immigration while tolerating

H-2A, Global; H-2B, Wages
DOL's Office of Foreign Labor Certification approved 7,665 farm employer requests to fill 86,000 farm jobs with H-2A workers in FY09. Over the past

Canada, Australia, Italy
Canadian farmers may hire legal guest workers under two guest worker programs: the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, which admits Caribbean and


California, US
Water. The western side of the San Joaquin Valley was developed for crop land in the 1960s, much later than the eastern side of the San Joaquin

The Wine Glut
California produced a record crop of 3.8 million tons of grapes in 2005, and 3.7 million tons in 2009. The 2010 crop is expected to be about 3.7

Global: Japan, Africa, EU
Japan. Japanese consumers pay some of the world's highest food prices because of high tariffs, including a 778 percent tariff on imported rice, and

Climate, Sustainability
The December 2009 meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change produced a "Copenhagen Accord" that codified individual

Labor: US Fruits and Vegetables
The value of US-produced fruits (excluding nuts) averaged $13 billion a year between 2005 and 2007, and the value of US-produced vegetables averaged

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