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“Happiness springs from doing good and helping others.

— Plato

NCAE News, Legal/Technical, & Other Employer Issues:

A federal agent has testified that Georgia labor officials were bribed by an alleged criminal organization accused of subjecting farmworkers to forced labor and degrading living conditions, including housing dozens in a single-room trailer without safe drinking or cooking water.


Regulatory Actions:

Well this won’t sell her brand upstate.


The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $7 million cooperative agreement to increase worker protections to reduce child labor, forced labor and other forms of labor exploitation in the chile pepper and tomato sectors operating in the Mexican states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Oaxaca.


California labor officials have issued civil penalties to an employer that fired a group of farmworkers it misclassified as independent contractors; labor experts say the landmark decision could have a “profound” impact on the agriculture industry.


The Colorado Department of Agriculture has established an application process for agricultural employers seeking a variance certificate to allow for more than the “occasional and intermittent hand weeding” (defined in statute as greater than 20% of a worker’s weekly work time).


A Central Washington apple, cherry and pear grower debarred by the federal government from hiring temporary foreign workers is choosing to sell his family’s farm, even though he denies wrongdoing.


Legislative Actions:

The United Farm Workers is launching a 24-day march this week to raise awareness about a bill they say will make it easier for California farmworkers to vote in union elections and ultimately join collective bargaining contracts.


H-2 and Other Worker Status Issues:

Mexican migrant farmers have been providing labor to local farms for decades in Transylvania County. This season, their labor has been essential.


Strawberries, wine grapes, and cauliflower along with several other fruits and veggies made big bucks for Santa Barbara County last year, rounding out to about $1.9 billion, according to the county’s 2021 agricultural production report.



Oregon’s agricultural workers spent the week navigating one of the longest-lasting heat waves on record, with temperatures consistently reaching near or above 100 degrees.


Immigration Reform:

International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) members, along with other members of the Alliance for a New Immigration Consensus (ANIC) called for urgent Senate action on immigration reform, which is vital to the fresh produce industry and for consumers facing high food prices, at a press conference this week.


Agricultural organizations are advocating for the passage of a federal bill to reform farm labor programs.


Americans who pay close attention to politics will be tracking returns in the contentious GOP Senate primary in Missouri this Tuesday night, August 2.


The Agriculture Workforce Coalition is calling on the Senate to pass an agriculture workforce reform bill this Congress.


Today, the United States is home to the largest immigrant population in the world.


NCAE this Week:

The House was out but the Senate was in session this week. 
There’s been a lot of recent publicity on efforts to pry free an ag labor reform bill from the U.S. Senate. Farmers and ranchers from across the country have been participating in press conferences to get the message to their Senators that the time to act was yesterday…but we’ll take today. Hopefully, after the August recess we’ll see some movement as a result of the publicity. 
This week the Agricultural Workforce Coalition, of which NCAE is a member of the steering committee, sent a letter to the Senate on this topic. More than 440 agricultural organizations and businesses signed the letter. Many of the signatories are NCAE members. Thank you for your support of this effort! 
The survey on ag labor availability that NCAE has partnered with Arizona State University and the University of California-Davis will close next Tuesday. If you haven’t yet had a chance to fill out the survey, please do. One lucky survey taker will win $100 donated by yours truly for the effort. 
Have a great weekend and stay cool! 


News articles and citations of interest for week ending 2022/08/05:


What will dictate the future of the produce industry?


Eggs, fruit, bacon, milk — all are more expensive now than they were a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Inna Kozionova and three other Ukrainian women sit at a picnic table near an old farmhouse.


As part of its effort to “disrupt” the food industry supply chain, Santa-Monica based automation incubator Wavemaker Labs has added—and revived—a new piece of technology that promises to change the game for apple orchards.


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