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October 2021, Volume 27, Number 4

Rural America

California: Fires, Drought, Housing
California had four megafires that each burned more than 100,000 acres and one gigafire that burned a million acres in 2021. The Dixie fire, likely

Meat and Migrants
US meatpackers process 9.3 billion chickens, 34 million head of cattle, 130 million hogs, and 2.2 million sheep and lambs each year. Meatpacking has

Jobs, Wages, Covid
The US added 194,000 jobs in October 2021, the lowest monthly total in 2021, bringing US employment to 147.5 million, down five million from the

Farm Workers

California: Santa Maria
USDA in September 2021 provided $700 million to non-profit groups so they could give $600 to each farm and meatpacking worker who incurred expenses

Florida, Southeast
Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a report in August 2021 that blamed rising imports of Mexican fruits and

Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
Colorado. The Fair Labor Standards Act (SB 87) requires farm workers to be paid at least the state’s minimum wage of $12.32 in 2021 and allows farm

The UFW’s RFK health care plan reported $21 million in revenue in 2018, over 99 percent from employer contributions, and paid $22 million for


Immigration Reform, DACA
Prospects for immigration reform dimmed in Fall 2021. President Biden’s approval rating fell after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, raising

DHS: Border, Haitians
Chris Magnus was named to head the Customs and Border Protection agency. His nomination was placed on hold in July 2021 by Democrats who want DHS to

H-2A; H-2B
DOL received 14,300 H-2A applications requesting certification to fill 257,500 jobs with H-2A workers in the first three quarters of FY21; DOL’s

Mexico: USMCA at 1
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) celebrated its first anniversary July 1, 2021. The USMCA aimed to slow the exit of high-wage jobs from the US

Europe, Asia
Most EU member countries and the UK reopened to vaccinated US citizens in summer 2021, but the US did not reciprocate and allow vaccinated Europeans

Global: Asylum
The UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was signed in August 1951 to protect persons fleeing Nazi and Soviet persecution, and was


California Agriculture
California produces a third of the world’s processing tomatoes. After being processed, tomato products can be stored, and there was an ample supply

US: Dairy. Trade
Milk production is shifting from coastal areas to the middle of the US, reflecting lower feed and labor costs as well as fewer environmental

Food, Wine
The UN held a food summit in September 2021 to highlight food system issues that include two billion people without sufficient food and two billion

Climate Change
The sixth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in August 2021 concluded that human activities have emitted sufficient greenhouse

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