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October 2011, Volume 17, Number 4

Rural America

California: Jobs, Car Impounds, Water
Jobs. California's unemployment rate rose to 12.1 percent in August 2011, well above the 9.1 percent US rate, as private sector job growth failed to

Meat and Migrants
The US Department of Justice settled charges in August 2011 against pork producer Farmland Foods, a division of Smithfield Foods, alleging that

Poverty, Rural Development
Over 15 percent of US residents had incomes below the poverty line in 2010, $10,830 for single adult and $22,050 for a family of four, meaning that

Farm Workers

UFW: Card Check, LM-2, D'Arrigo
Governor Jerry Brown in June 2011 vetoed the UFW's top legislative priority, SB 104, the Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act. SB 104 would have

Florida, Southeast
DOL's Wage and Hour Division between March and June 2011 ordered farm employers to pay $670,770 in back wages to 590 farm workers in South Florida.

Midwest, Northeast
Illinois. Seed firms often hire migrant workers from south Texas to detassel corn, using recruiters to find workers. Most seed firms pay the first

Northwest, Mountains
Oregon. Capital Press reported on the "necessary hassles" of Albany farmer Bill Case to obtain the Mexican H-2A workers Case preferred. Corn grower

California: Heat, Fungicides, Commodities
Heat. Two Californian farm workers died while working in 2011, one in Imperial county in April and another in Riverside county in July. The

Children, Training, NLRB
Children. DOL's Wage and Hour Division proposed a regulation on September 2, 2011 that would prohibit children under 16 from operating power-driven


H-2A Reform, Cases, H-2B
Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the American Specialty Agriculture Act (ASSA, HR 2847) in September 2011 to provide up to 500,000 H-2C

I-9 Audits, Secure Communities
The Wall Street Journal on August 15, 2011 reported that I-9 audits were pushing some experienced unauthorized workers down the US job ladder, as

E-Verify, States, Shortages
The House Judiciary Committee approved the Legal Workforce Act (HR 2164) to phase in E-Verify for all US employers over four years, with the smallest

Canada, Mexico, Italy
Some 600 farms in Quebec hired about 7,000 temporary foreign workers from Mexico, Guatemala and Jamaica in 2011 under the Pilot Project for


Ag Labor Economics
Agriculture is a unique industry. Farming crops and raising livestock was once the largest industry in every society, and most of human history is

Obesity, Food Prices, China
Obesity. Around the world, obesity rates doubled between 1980 and 2010. In 1980, about five percent of men and eight percent of women worldwide were

Wine, Food Safety
California growers received an average $545 a ton for wine grapes in 2010, or 27 cents a pound. Napa Cabernet grapes were worth an average $4,456 a

EU: Agriculture, Immigration
Farm Employment. The EU-27 member countries had 26.7 million workers employed on 13.7 million farms in 2008. The EU distinguishes between commercial

Climate Change: NAPAs
Climate change is a significant change in temperature or precipitation that persists for several decades. Climate change can raise global

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