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April 2019, Volume 25, Number 2

Rural America

California: PG&E, Housing
California's 2017 and 2018 wildfires led to the bankruptcy of Pacific Gas and Electric in January 2019. PG&E listed assets of $71 billion and

Meat and Migrants
USDA is experimenting with faster line speeds at pork-processing plants. JBS's Swift plant in Beardstown, Illinois processes 1,300 hogs an hour or

Labor, H-1B
US employers added 304,000 jobs in January 2019, continuing the job growth that has kept the unemployment rate at four percent or less. The US

Farm Workers

California: 8/40, Wonderful
AB 1066 phased in 8/40 overtime for California farm workers on January 1, 2019. Most farm workers will receive 1.5 times their usual pay after

Florida, Southeast
Fancy Farms in Hillsborough county used All Nation Staffing in 2013 to recruit 54 H-2A workers in Honduras. All Nation unlawfully charged the workers

Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
Louisiana. Two H-2A workers employed by Lowry Farms but working at Harang Sugars had their legs crushed by equipment operated by a Harang employee.

The United Farm Workers union in January 2019 announced that its legislative priorities for 2019 include blocking employer efforts to reduce the AEWR

NAWS 2015-16
DOL's National Agricultural Worker Survey released data for FY15 and FY16 based on interviews with 5,342 crop workers employed on over 1,100 farms in


Border Wall; Caravans
President Trump allowed nine of the 15 federal agencies to close on December 22, 2018 for 35 days after Congress refused to appropriate $5.7 billion

DHS: Border, Interior
Border. About 50,000 unauthorized foreigners a month were detained just inside the Mexico-US border in the first half of FY19, suggesting there will

H-2A; H-2B
President Trump, speaking to the American Farm Bureau Federation in January 2019, said he would "make it easier for them [guest workers] to help the

Canada, Mexico: USMCA
Mexico and the US agreed on a revision of NAFTA in August 2018; Canada agreed in September 2018 to the renamed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Europe, Asia
EU member states received 600,000 asylum applications in 2018. At the height of the migrant rush to Europe in 2015, when 1.3 million foreigners

Global Migration
Brazil in January 2019 withdrew from the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Brazil has generous migration policies, and


California Agriculture
California's farm sales of $50 billion in 2017 were an eighth of US farm sales of $374 billion. California's farm sales were almost double the $27

US Ag, Trade
USDA releases projections of agriculture each February for the next decade. Farm cash receipts of $374 billion in 2018 are projected to rise to $405

Wine, Food
Global wine production rose to normal levels of 280 million hectoliters in 2018 from the drought-reduced 250 million hectoliters in 2017; one

Climate Change and Migration
Ioane Teitiota in 2014 tried to become the world's first climate change refugee, requesting asylum in New Zealand because of rising waters in his

The Farm Labor Problem
The eight-chapter book, The Farm Labor Problem, reviews farm labor demand, supply, labor market equilibrium, immigration, and self-help union and NGO

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