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January 2012, Volume 18, Number 1

Rural America

California: Poverty, Water
Fresno county had the state's highest farm sales and the state's highest poverty rate in 2010. Fresno county had farm sales of $5.9 billion, and

Meat, Migrants, E-Verify
Meatpacking is the largest manufacturing employer in rural America. About 60 percent of the almost 500,000 employees in the animal slaughtering and

Poverty, Mobility
Some 51 million people lived in non-metro counties in 2010, about 16 percent of the 308 million US residents. Non-Hispanic whites were 80 percent of

Farm Workers

California: Shortages, Health, CRLA
Some California farmers complained of labor shortages in fall 2011. Dan Fiorio said he found it hard to find reliable workers to harvest bell

Florida, Southeast
Florida. Florida farmers, asserting that three-fourths of their workers are unauthorized, announced their opposition to federal and state

Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
Dairies. Larson Acres, a dairy near Evansville, Wisconsin with 2,400 milking cows, fired 10 of its 63 workers in December 2011 after an ICE audit of

The UFW, founded in 1962, plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary throughout 2012, including a 50th Anniversary Convention May 17-20, 2012 in

Farm Worker Housing
In the major farm worker states of California and Florida, fewer than five percent of workers are housed on the farm on which they work. The

DOL: Child Labor, QCEW
DOL's Wage and Hour Division in fall 2011 proposed regulations to align laws governing the employment of children in agriculture with those governing


Labor Shortages, H-2A Reform
Growers complained of farm labor shortages in many states in summer and fall 2011, especially in Alabama and Georgia, states that enacted laws making

H-2A, H-2B
Farmers requesting certification to hire H-2A guest workers must offer and pay the higher of three wage rates, the federal or state minimum, the

Enforcement: Border, Interior
Border. Apprehensions of foreigners just inside the 1,969-mile Mexico-US border fell to 327,600 in FY11, down from 1.6 million in FY00 and the

Mexico: Less Emigration
Net Mexico-US migration peaked at over 750,000 in 2000 and practically stopped in 2010, when an estimated 150,000 Mexicans moved to the US and about

Canada: SAWP; Australia: Migrants
United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Local 1518 in October 2011 alleged that the Mexican government and two Canadian farmers blocked the return


Food Spending: 2010
The US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey reported 121 million "consumer units" in 2010. They had an average of 2.5 persons,

California, US Agriculture
California farm sales were $37 billion in 2010, up from $34 billion in 2009, led by a sharp jump in dairy sales to almost $6 billion. Grapes worth

Wine, Food
California harvested about 3.3 million tons of wine grapes in 2011, down almost 10 percent from 2010 but the average crop over the last five years.

Climate Change: Durban
Representatives of 194 nations met in Durban, South Africa in November-December 2011 at the 17th Conference of Parties to the UN's Framework

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