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October 2014, Volume 20, Number 4

Rural America

California: Drought
The drought dominated farm-related news in summer 2014. California's Lake Oroville was less than 40 percent of capacity and Nevada's Lake Mead was

Meat and Migrants
Mississippi-based Sanderson Farms Inc, which proposed a $113 million, 1,000-employee chicken processing plant in Fayetteville, North Carolina in July

Poverty, Health
About 14.5 percent of US residents, some 45.3 million, were in households with incomes below the poverty line in 2013, down from 15 percent in

Farm Workers

California: Sick Leave, Cal-OSHA, FLCs
SB 1522, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, was signed into law in September 2014. SB 1522 requires employers to give employees

Florida, Southeast
Over 100 workers at the Fruit Dynamics Incredible Fresh packing plant near Naples were arrested in July 2014 for insurance fraud after using the

Northwest, Midwest, Northeast
Alaska. The Tongass National Forest is the largest under the jurisdiction of USDA's Forest Service, which wants to allow logging on 2,500-square

UFW, Unions, WHD
ALRB. Gerawan Farms dominated ALRB activities in summer 2014. The UFW, which called the effort to win an election at Gerawan in 1990 the last major

Job Training
Participants in programs funded by the $3.1 billion Workforce Investment Act, reauthorized by Conges in July 2014, often exit in debt and without


Children, Obama Delays Action
Immigration reform in summer 2014 took a back seat to debate over what to do about women and children arriving on the Mexico-US border from Central

DHS: Unauthorized, Interior
The number of border-area deaths fell in FY14 even as apprehensions of unauthorized foreigners rose. Some 284 border-area deaths were recorded in

H-2A; H-2B
Centro de los Derechos del Migrante in September 2014 launched a web site ( that allows Mexican H-2A and H-2B migrants to submit

Canada: SAWP
The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program brings over 20,000 Caribbean and Mexican workers to Canada for up to eight months each year.


California Agriculture and Labor 2014
California had farm sales of $45 billion in 2012, including $17.2 billion worth of fruits and nuts, $6.8 billion worth of vegetables and melons, and

US Farm Land
The average price of US crop land was $4,100 in 2014, and $10,140 per acre in California. One index of farm land prices shows them appreciating

Wine, Food, Fish
California crushed 4.7 million tons of grapes in 2013, including 655,000 tons that were used to make concentrate (natural sweetener). Most of the

Water, Climate
Water. There are an estimated 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of salt water in the world and 35 million cubic kilometers of fresh water, making fresh

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