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January 2018, Volume 24, Number 1

Rural America

California: Fires, Housing
Napa and Sonoma counties were affected by wildfires in October 2017 spread by very high winds. Over 4,700 homes were destroyed, including 3,000 in

Meat and Migrants; Rural
The US produced a record 100 billion pounds of meat in 2017, including 48 percent poultry and 52 percent beef and pork; about 15 percent of

Labor; H-1B
The US added over 200,000 jobs a month in 2017, and the unemployment rate ended the year at 4.1 percent, the lowest rate since December 2000. As of

Farm Workers

California: Laws, Shortages
California's minimum wage rose from $10.50 to $11 an hour January 1, 2018 for employers with 26 employees or more. These employers will pay at least

Florida, Southeast
Florida farmers were certified to fill 25,000 jobs in FY17 with H-2A workers, the most of any state and up sharply from 4,500 jobs certified in FY10.

Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
Iowa. High pork prices are encouraging some farmers to expand hog farms, and some construction firms are using H-2A workers to build confinement

ALRB: MMC, Unions
The United Farm Workers, Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers may compete to represent cannabis workers in 2018. By some estimates, up


DACA, Terror, Refugees
Many one-year reviews of President Trump's efforts to reduce immigration concluded that his administration has been able to begin to turn the

Kirstjen Nielsen was confirmed as secretary of DHS in December 2017, replacing John Kelly, who became Trump's chief of staff. Elaine Duke will be

H-2A; H-2B
DOL certified 200,049 jobs to be filled with H-2A workers in FY17, up over 20 percent from 165,000 in FY16. The five leading H-2A states accounted

NAFTA, Canada, Mexico
Canada and Mexico in Fall 2017 braced for possible US withdrawal from NAFTA. Mexico exported goods worth $374 billion in 2016, 80 percent to the US.

Europe, Asia
The arrival of over a million asylum seekers in Germany and Sweden in 2015 and the subsequent cost of integrating them despite several terrorist acts


California Agriculture
County agricultural commissioners release their annual reports on farm sales each fall for the year before, and Kern country topped the list with

EU Farm Labor
The EU had farm sales of E405 billion in 2016, including 205 billion from crops and 155 billion from crops. France led in farm sales with E70

Wine, Food
The wildfires that destroyed over 8,500 structures and killed almost 50 people in October 2017 in Napa and Sonoma counties had little effect on

Climate Change
In December 2015, leaders from 195 countries agreed in Paris to limit the increase in global temperatures to two degrees Celsius (3.6F) above

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