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July 2015, Volume 21, Number 3

Rural America

California: Drought, Jobs
California suffered its fourth year of drought in 2015, prompting the federal government to deliver no water to its Central Valley Project farm

Meat and Migrants
Most meatpacking workers must don and doff protective gear before starting and ending their jobs. Over the past decade, there have been many

Labor, Wages, H-1B
The unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in May 2015, as employers added 280,000 jobs. The US added 3.1 million jobs in 2014, but the labor force

Farm Workers

California: AB 20, FLCs
AB 20 would require the state to initiate discussions with the federal government so that the state's EDD could issue work permits to unauthorized

Florida, Southeast
Florida grows mostly mature green tomatoes that are picked green and gassed with ethylene to ripen them, which prolongs their shelf life. Mexico is

Northwest, Midwest, Northeast
Washington. The state supreme court is considering whether piece-rate workers should be compensated for their rest periods. Workers argue that they

UFW, ALRB, Unions
The RFK Medical Plan reported about $15 million in employer-paid premiums in 2012. If employer contributions average $3 an hour, this suggests five


DAPA, Agriculture
The Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, created by executive order in November 2014, would allow an estimated four million

DHS, H-2A, H-2B
The US had 41 million foreign-born residents in 2013, making them 13 percent of residents. Including children born in the US to at least one

Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic
In 2011, the Conservative government required temporary workers in Canada to leave for at least four years after working in Canada four years in a

Global Migration
The EU had 34 million international migrants among 506 million residents in 2013, including 20 million from non-EU countries and 14 million who were


California Agriculture
Drought has so far not affected statewide farm sales, largely because farmers have shifted available water from lower-value to higher-value crops.

US Agriculture, Trade
Six states have passed so-called ag-gag laws that make it a crime to take videos of animal abuse without permission; Iowa makes it a crime to apply

Wine, Food
Joseph Phelps, owner of eight Napa county vineyards, died in April 2015. Phelps sold his Colorado-based construction firm to his employees to

Climate Change
President Obama used Earth Day on April 22, 2015 to argue for action on climate change "before it is too late." Many other world leaders called for

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