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January 2020, Volume 26, Number 1

Rural America

California: Fires, Housing
Pacific Gas & Electric declared bankruptcy in 2019 after admitting liability for $30 billion in losses due to wildfires in 2017 and 2018. Eight of

Meat and Migrants
Brazil's JBS began to acquire US meat processors in 2007, beginning with beef and pork producer Swift. Today JBS and three other beef processors

Labor, Health, UBI
The US unemployment rate was below four percent during 2019, ending the year at 3.5 percent. The US added 2.1 million jobs in 2019, an average

Farm Workers

California: H-2A Workers, Laws
Delano, California-based Munger Brothers, the largest US blueberry producer, agreed in a November 2019 settlement to pay $2.5 million to H-2A workers

Florida, Southeast
Florida had farm cash receipts of $7.6 billion in 2017, ranking 18th among states, including three-fourths from crops. Citrus was worth $1.2

Northeast, Midwest, Northwest
Pennsylvania. Temple mushroom grower Bisconti settled EEOC charges that a female manager harassed eight female employees between 2007 and 2015;

ALRB, DOL, Unions
Filipino Larry Itliong called the 1965 grape workers strike that was soon supported by Cesar Chavez and what became the United Farm Workers union.


Immigration, Politics
As President Trump reaches three years in office, what are his major effects on immigration? Trump issued executive orders to implement three

The Department of Homeland Security's acting secretary, Kevin McAleenan, resigned after six months in October 2019. Under McAleenan, the US signed

DOL certified 257,666 jobs to be filled with H-2A workers in FY19, up 11 percent from FY18. The top five H-2A states, Florida, Georgia, Washington,

Canada, Mexico
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was poised to be ratified by all three countries after Democrats in December 2019 won additions to

Europe, Asia
Almost nine million foreigners applied for asylum in the major EU countries between 2003 and 2017, including 1.2 million in 2015-16. About 30

Global Trends
The IOM's World Migration Report 2020 surveyed trends in international migration, noting that UN's DESA estimated there were 272 million


California: F&V, Robots
California produced 43 percent of the US's $18.5 billion worth of vegetables and melons in 2018, followed by Arizona with seven percent. The most

US Ag, Trade, EU
US farm debt is projected to top $416 billion in 2019, as large harvests of corn, soybeans, and wheat depress prices and reduce net farm incomes.

Wine, Food
The California wine grape harvest was a record 4.5 million tons in 2018, up six percent from 2017. The 2019 crush was smaller at 4.2 million tons,

Climate Change
Two weeks of meetings in Madrid in December 2019 failed to produce agreement on how to implement the 2015 Paris accord to reduce greenhouse gas

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