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July 2011, Volume 17, Number 3

Rural America

San Joaquin Valley: Jobs, Budget
California's unemployment rate remained above the US rate in spring 2011, but dropped below 12 percent in May 2011 when the US rate was 9.1 percent.

Meatpacking and Immigration
Meatpacking is the largest manufacturing employer in rural America. About 60 percent of the almost 500,000 employees in the animal slaughtering and

SNAP, Disability
SNAP. Congress renamed Food Stamps the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on October 1, 2008. The federal government pays for SNAP

Farm Workers

UFW: Card Check, ALRB
The National Park Service is considering the significance of 80 sites in California and Arizona for protection because of their importance to Cesar

Florida, North Carolina, Georgia
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) got its start in the southwestern Florida city of Immokalee by helping to uncover cases of farm workers

Northeast, Midwest, Northwest
Maine. Jack DeCoster, reportedly trying to sell Quality Egg of New England farm in Turner to Land O' Lakes Inc in June 2011, asked the Maine

California Farm Labor: 50 Years
There have been enormous changes in California agriculture and farm labor issues over the past half century. Three stand out. First is the

NLRB, Unions, Wal-Mart
NLRB. The NLRB on June 7, 2011 updated its procedures covering unauthorized workers. The US Supreme Court in the 2002 Huffman decision concluded


AgJOBS; H-2A Hearing
The Agricultural Job Opportunity Benefits and Security Act (AgJOBS), a compromise negotiated by worker advocates and farm employers in December 2000,

H-2A: AEWR, Global; H-2B
The number of jobs certified by DOL to be filled with H-2A workers reached a low of 30,000 in the mid-1990s. The number then began to rise, as more

DHS: Border, Interior Enforcement
Apprehensions of unauthorized foreigners just inside the Mexico-US border dropped from 1.7 million in FY2000 to 463,000 in FY10. The number of

Canada, Mexico
Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada on April 29, 2011 decided 8-1 that an Ontario law, the Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA), provided


Commodities, Sales, Water
Strawberries. California has about 35,000 acres of strawberries, including 1,000 acres of organic strawberries. Most strawberries are grown on the

Wine, Obesity, E. coli, Fish
California had 842,000 acres of grapes in 2010, down from a peak 955,000 acres in 2000. Most of the grapes removed over the past decade were

Global: Food Prices, Coffee, Cocoa
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization in spring 2011 reported that its index of food prices reached its highest level since the late 1980s. One

Climate Change: NAPAs
The next major global summit aimed at slowing climate change is scheduled for Durban, South Africa in December 2011. Few observers expect a legally


Immigration and Agriculture 2011 Conference
About half of US crop workers have been unauthorized for the past decade. The AgJOBS immigration reform proposal, pending since 2000, would provide

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