¿Cómo celebra usted en su vida la agricultura estadounidense? Antes de la Semana Nacional de la Agricultura, celebrada del 19 al 25 de marzo y el Día Nacional de la Agricultura, el 21 del mismo mes, los estudiantes del tercer grado del Valle Central “aprendieron con una lechuga” cómo llevar más agricultura a sus vidas. El Centro de Extensión e Investigación de UC Kearney ofrece una actividad para plantar lechugas todos los años Durante el Día de la Granja y Nutrición, en los condados de Fresno y Kings County, alrededor de la misma fecha en que se celebra la Semana Nacional de la Agricultura.
Los estudiantes, con la ayuda de voluntarios, aprendieron cómo sembrar pequeñas plántulas de lechugas en una maceta con tierra saludable para llevarse a casa y trasplantar más tarde. Además de ayudar a los niños a entender la relación entre sus alimentos y la agricultura. La plantación de lechugas les ofreció una experiencia práctica acerca de sembrar alimentos saludables y nutritivos en casa.
La Semana Nacional de la Agricultura representa un esfuerzo nacional coordinado del Consejo Nacional de la Agricultura para difundir la historia vital de la agricultura estadounidense y recordar a los ciudadanos que la agricultura es parte de todos nosotros. El Día Nacional de la Agricultura insta a todos los estadounidenses a:
• Entender la forma en la que los alimentos y productos de fibra son producidos.
• Apreciar el papel que la agricultura juega en la tarea de proveer productos seguros, abundantes y costeables.
• Valorar el papel esencial de la agricultura en el mantenimiento de una economía fuerte.
• Reconocer y considerar las oportunidades profesionales en las industrias de la agricultura, alimentos y fibra.
Cada granjero estadounidense alimenta a alrededor de 144 personas. Conforme la población mundial se incrementa, existe una mayor demanda de alimentos, fibra y recursos renovables que son producidos en Estados Unidos. La agricultura es la principal exportación de esta nación y es increíblemente importante para sustentar una economía saludable. Por ello la Semana Nacional de la Agricultura es el momento ideal para reflexionar y agradecer al sector agrícola estadounidense por ello.
Who picks your strawberries?
If you haven't delved into this question, you probably believe it's virtually all immigrants, many of them illegal, because Americans don't want to do those jobs and we don't have enough legal ways to get foreigners here to do them.
If you have delved into the question, you know that's absolutely true.
Estimates of the number of farmworkers employed in the United States vary. According to Robert Guenther, senior vice president for public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, a produce industry trade group, it's about 1.5 million to 2 million. Of those, a large portion is illegal. Again, estimates vary, but Guenther puts it at 50 to 70 percent, a wide range. The Department of Labor, in its National Agricultural Workers Survey , puts it at 46 percent.
No matter which estimate you accept, it's a lot of people. And the Trump administration's aggressive enforcement of immigration laws and promise to build a wall to keep more people from crossing the border illegally threaten the viability of the on-farm workforce.
If we lose the workers who are here illegally, it's hard to see how they'll be replaced, because Americans are reluctant to take these jobs, particularly the ones harvesting crops. There's a lot of evidence for this, both anecdotal and statistical, including a particularly compelling case study done in North Carolina in 2011. That year, 489,000 people were unemployed statewide. The North Carolina Growers Association listed 6,500 available jobs. Just 268 of those 489,000 North Carolinians applied, and 245 were hired. On the first day of work, 163 showed up, and a grand total of seven finished the season. Of the mostly Mexican workers who took the rest of the jobs, 90 percent made it through to the end.
Lynn Jacquez, a D.C. lawyer specializing in immigration law, says, “There's sufficient evidence that over the last 30-plus years there's a dearth of U.S. workers that want to go into this field.” Whether the pun is intended, these jobs are acceptable only to people who have very few, very bad options.
The work is brutally hard. Ricardo Salvador, who is director of the food and environment program for the Union of Concerned Scientists, and whose family includes farmworkers, described a typical day to me. (I tried to talk with a farmworker directly, but the political environment has made many very reluctant to speak with the press.)
Days often begin in the middle of the night — say, 3 a.m. — to leave enough time to get to a pickup point (a parking lot or vacant lot), be picked up (or not — the labor contractors who collect workers and deliver them to farms generally don't take all of them), and get trucked to the worksite. Each crop is different; you're stooping to pick (fruits like strawberries) or cut (vegetables like broccoli) essentially nonstop, usually with pressure to keep up with a truck that's collecting the harvested produce. If you fall behind, you could get kicked out and lose both a day's wages and a ride home. Conditions vary, of course, but there are often very limited breaks.
“It's not just the physical stress,” says Salvador. “It's the psychological stress. You have to keep up, you can't afford to lose this job.” And the pay? Between $10 and $12 an hour, generally. Sometimes a bit more, sometimes less. But, because there isn't year-round work, according to Salvador, “these families are earning $10,000 a year.”
It is disconcerting that two different scenarios, one threatening to farmworkers, one supportive of them, could have a similar effect in our food system. The threatening scenario is a restriction of the labor force driven by immigration enforcement. According to both Guenther and Jacquez, that force is already shrinking, in part because of enforcement under the Obama administration, but also because better conditions in Mexico reduce the incentive to come here, and the aging workforce isn't being adequately replaced. This has put pressure on the sector, which has boosted competition for laborers and raised wages in some places. Stepped-up efforts to close the border, combined with the ongoing aggressive effort to deport people who are here illegally, would increase that pressure.
The supportive scenario looks very different. Many U.S. produce buyers (including me) would like to see the people who bring our fruits and vegetables out of the fields work in decent conditions and earn family-sustaining wages, a situation that could be brought about by legislation (including minimum wage and immigration reforms), collective bargaining, or both.
Either scenario (and, in this political climate, we can hazard a guess as to which is more likely) would raise prices. So it makes sense to ask: What happens when labor prices increase? What if we raise pay from the current rates — about $12 an hour — to, say, the minimum wage that many are advocating, $15 an hour?
I checked in with a few agricultural economists — Jayson Lusk at Oklahoma State University, Philip Martin at the University of California at Davis, and a USDA economist who spoke on the condition of anonymity because public statements would require agency authorization — to understand how that change would reverberate through the food supply.
A wage increase will mostly affect fruits and vegetables, because commodity crops — corn, soy, wheat, cotton, and others — are highly mechanized, so most of the work is done by machines. With produce, about a quarter of every dollar we spend at the supermarket goes to the farmer. A third of that quarter — about 8 cents of your produce dollar — goes to the farmworker.
If wages increased 25 percent (from $12 to $15), and that cost were passed on to us, produce prices would rise 2 to 3 percent. The yearly impact would be in the range of $30 per household, certainly affordable for many but not for all.
But would the costs get passed on to us? It's a critical question, and it's hard to answer. Small increases might, but the supply chain might also respond in other ways. Martin told me in an email that “historically, rising ag wages led to labor-saving mechanization or imports, and food cost as a share of household spending has been falling.” If that's what happens, you won't see that increase in the grocery store because either farmers invest in machinery to reduce labor costs or the supply chain turns to imports. That means smaller farmers, without the economies of scale to support mechanization, are going to have the hardest time.
The larger the increase, the greater the likelihood that the supply chain looks elsewhere, the larger the threat to farms and farmworkers. Everyone I've spoken to on this issue wants to see a system that allows for workers to come here to make sure our crops make it out of the field and into the stores. If we don't have these workers, we risk food rotting in fields and farmers on the margins going out of business. Nobody wants to see an immigration crackdown that leads to that.
But what about the supportive scenario, an across-the-board increase in farmworker wages? If that cost gets passed along, it would increase produce prices commensurately, and making the most healthful foods in our diet even a little more expensive is tough on the consumers least able to afford them. (Although Salvador points out that, if those consumers also earned $15 an hour, we might not have that problem.) If it makes the supply chain look elsewhere for green beans, it could jeopardize the livelihood of farmers and farmworkers alike.
I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford fresh vegetables, and I'm willing to pay more to make sure everyone along the way lives decently. But I also want to safeguard the spinach for our most vulnerable. There's no easy answer.
In order for farmworkers to be paid wages that make it viable to support a family, American produce buyers have to ask what they're willing to pay. While many lower-income consumers have trouble affording fresh produce even at the current levels, higher-income buyers may be willing to pay slightly more. Americans are paying more attention to our food's provenance, and pressure for more attention to animal welfare and environmental responsibility is forcing change throughout the food chain. If we want farmworkers to live decently, it is us, the eaters, who need to pay.
Source: Published originally on The Washington Post, Illegal immigrants help fuel U.S. farms. Does affordable produce depend on them?, by Tamar Haspel, March 17, 2017.
The number of adults in the prime working ages of 25 to 64 – 173.2 million in 2015 – will rise to 183.2 million in 2035, according to Pew Research Center projections. That total growth of 10 million over two decades will be lower than the total in any single decade since the Baby Boomers began pouring into the workforce in the 1960s. The growth rate of working-age adults will also be markedly reduced.
The largest segment of working-age adults – those born in the U.S. whose parents also were born in the U.S. – is projected to decline from 2015 to 2035, both in numbers and as a share of the working-age population. The Center's projections show a reduction of 8.2 million of these adults, from 128.3 million in 2015 to 120.1 million in 2035.
That numerical loss will be partially offset by an increase in the number of working-age U.S.-born adults with immigrant parents, who are projected to number 24.6 million in 2035, up from 11.1 million in 2015.
But perhaps the most important component of the growth in the working-age population over the next two decades will be the arrival of future immigrants. The number of working-age immigrants is projected to increase from 33.9 million in 2015 to 38.5 million by 2035, with new immigrant arrivals accounting for all of that gain. (The number of current immigrants of working age is projected to decline as some will turn 65, while others are projected to leave the country or die.) Without these new arrivals, the number of immigrants of working age would decline by 17.6 million by 2035, as would the total projected U.S. working-age population, which would fall to 165.6 million.
The Pew Research Center projections for foreign-born working-age adults are based on current rates of immigration, combining lawful and unauthorized. They assume that two-thirds of immigrants arriving through 2035 will be ages 25 to 64, as is true of today's new immigrants.
The declining number of U.S.-born working-age adults with U.S.-born parents means that they will become a smaller share of the working-age population: 66% in 2035, compared with 74% in 2015. U.S.-born children of immigrants will make up a growing share of working-age adults: 13% in 2035, compared with 6% in 2015. The immigrant share of working-age adults will inch up, from 20% in 2015 to 21% in 2035.
Change by immigrant generation
The decrease in working-age adults born in the U.S. whose parents also were born in the U.S. largely reflects the aging of the Baby Boom generation, born from 1946 to 1964. The youngest Boomers turn 65 by 2030 (of course, some Baby Boomers are immigrants or have immigrant parents, but the share is smaller than among younger Americans). Birth rates, which have stayed relatively low since the 1970s, also play a role.
The largest group joining the nation's working-age population will be the 60 million people who were born in the country to U.S.-born parents and turn 25 between 2015 and 2035. But they will be outnumbered by U.S.-born adults with U.S.-born parents who turn 65 or who die, according to the projections, and so this group will have a net loss in number.
The projections indicate that 17.6 million new immigrants will be added to the working-age population by 2035, offsetting the aging or death of other working-age immigrants. Without them, the number of working-age immigrants would decline by 2035 and the total U.S. working-age population would drop by almost 8 million (or more than 4%) from the 2015 working-age population.
Growth rates and immigration's role
The relatively weak growth rate projected for the total working-age adult population – averaging 0.3% per year for both the decades between 2015 and 2035 – is well under the increases in recent decades. The annual growth peaked at 2% in the decade from 1975 to 1985, when the Baby Boomers were coming of age, and growth rates were at least 0.8% in all other decades since 1965.
In recent decades, immigration to the U.S. has become an increasing source of growth for the working-age population. It was a negligible source of growth in the 1960s but grew in importance after the 1965 immigration law opened visa eligibility to people from a wider variety of nations than the traditional European countries of origin. By the mid-1990s, immigration had surpassed growth in the number of U.S.-born adults with U.S.-born parents as a source of the increase in the nation's potential labor force.
These projections do not look at the future labor force – that is, how many people in each of these groups will be employed or looking for work. Labor-force participation differs by gender and generation. Currently, foreign-born men are somewhat more likely to work than all U.S.-born men (including those with immigrant parents and U.S.-born parents), but foreign-born women are somewhat less likely to work than U.S.-born women, in part because many are staying home to raise children.
Immigrants also play a large role in future U.S. population growth. Assuming current trends continue, future immigrants and their U.S.-born children will account for 88% of the nation's population growth between 2015 and 2065, according to Pew Research Center projections.
Source: Published originally on PewResearchCenter Immigration projected to drive growth in U.S. working-age population through at least 2035, by Jeffrey S. Passel and D'Vera Cohn, March 8, 2017.
Los cultivadores de nogales de California tendrán que cumplir muy pronto con los nuevos requisitos del Reglamento de Frutas y Verduras Seguras. La Ley de Modernización de la Seguridad Alimentaria (2011 Food Safety Modernization Act) conocida por sus siglas en inglés como FSMA, establece nuevas obligaciones sobre los análisis de agua para la agricultura.
Con el propósito de ayudar a los agricultores a cumplir con los nuevos requisitos, los investigadores y asesores de la Universidad de California están llevando a cabo seminarios para compartir la información acerca de los requerimientos del agua agrícola y los métodos apropiados para tomar las muestras de agua.
Si bien el riego por irrigación o rocío no es por lo general una fuente de contaminación, si es un vehículo conductor de patógenos dañinos para los humanos, especialmente en las frutas y verduras porque se consumen crudas; y por esto, el agua para agricultura fue incluida como parte de la nueva regulación.
La oficina de Extensión Cooperativa de la UC en el condado de Yolo fue la sede de las primeras sesiones informativas para los cultivadores y productores de nueces. Una ubicación ideal, pues las fértiles tierras de los valles de San Joaquín y Sacramento son el hogar de la industria nogalera más grande de los Estados Unidos. Algunas nueces también son cultivadas en las regiones del valle y las laderas de la sierra.
Buenas noticias para los consumidores de nueces
Las nuevas regulaciones y el enfoque en las prácticas de seguridad alimentaria, particularmente dentro de la industria nogalera, es motivo de gran interés debido a la demanda de las nutritivas y deliciosas nueces. Yo misma, soy una gran consumidora. Mi día empieza con un pan tostado con mantequilla de almendra. A ello le siguen una botana de un puñado de nueces de castilla crudas y dátiles. Y claro pistachos rostizados como bocadillo salado.
Es una suerte que alguien que está loco por las nueces pueda vivir en California. Es el primer productor de nueces de castilla, almendras y pistachos en el país. California produce el 80 por ciento de las almendras de todo el mundo. Aquí producimos un millón de toneladas de almendras al año, seguidas por las nueces de castilla con cerca de medio millón y los pistachos con un cuarto de millón.
El Departamento de Alimentos y Agricultura de California reporta que el principal producto agrícola de exportación del estado durante el 2015, en cuanto a valor, fueron las almendras (5,140 millones de dólares), seguidas por los productos lácteos (1,630 millones de dólares), nueces de castilla (1,490 millones de dólares), vino de mesa (1,480 millones de dólares) y pistachos (848 millones de dólares).
Melissa L. Partyka, una ecologista de Instituto Western para la Seguridad Alimentaria de la UC Davis (Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, conocido por sus siglas en inglés como WIFSS) y Ronald F. Bond, investigador de la calidad del agua y coordinador de campo de WIFSS, están involucrando a los cultivadores locales en los temas de seguridad alimentaria y entrenándolos no sólo sobre estas regulaciones sino además sobre cómo mejorar la calidad del agua.
Partyka y Bond son parte del personal de la Extensión de Veterinaria de la División de Agricultura y Recursos Naturales (UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Vet Med Extension) y del Laboratorio Atwill para Enfermedades Zoonóticas Transmitidas a través del Agua y Alimentos (Atwill Water and Foodborne Zoonotic Disease Laboratory) dirigido por el especialista de Extensión Cooperativa de la UC, Rob Atwill, quien es además director de WIFSS.
Los expertos están afiliados al Centro del Oeste para la Seguridad Alimentaria (Western Center for Food Safety), un Centro de Excelencia de la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos y están ayudando a los agricultores a desglosar las regulaciones, las cuales pueden resultar un poco abrumadoras para quienes no tienen experiencia.
El agua para la agricultura, de acuerdo con FSMA, es la que se usa para regar, tratar, cosechar y lavar los productos o equipo en una granja.
A los cultivadores se les requiere hacer pruebas del agua si:
- Entra en contacto con las porciones cosechables del producto
- Se utiliza para limpiar el equipo para cosechar
- Se usa para mezclar pesticidas/fungicidas que se aplican a los productos
- La cuadrilla de recolección la usa para lavarse las manos
A partir de enero del 2016 los cultivadores tendrán de dos a cuatro años (dependiendo del tamaño de la granja) para cumplir con la mayoría de los componentes de la Regla de Frutas y Verduras Seguras. Básicamente, en cuanto más grande es la producción, mayor el riesgo para el consumidor. Es frecuente que las muestras de un cultivador dependan de la fuente de agua. El agua de pozo requiere de cuatro muestras iniciales seguidas de una muestra anual. El agua superficial requiere de veinte muestras iniciales, seguidas de cinco muestras anuales.
Las muestras de agua deben ser tomadas tan cercanas a la cosecha como sea práctico. Durante una temporada larga de cosecha, las muestras pueden escalonarse. En las temporadas cortas de cosecha, las muestras deben recogerse más cerca una de la otra y en temporadas de cosechas múltiples, las muestran deben recogerse cercanas a cada cosecha si el agua proviene de la misma fuente.
Extensión Cooperativa de la UC planea ofrecer un taller de un día para finales de junio. Esté al pendiente sobre el anuncio acerca del día, hora y lugar en los siguientes sitios Web www.wcfs.ucdavis.edu, http://ucanr.edu, www.wifss.ucdavis.edu.
More than 10,000 adults offered their thoughts on health care reform, immigration, climate change and other issues.
To capture a demographically and geographically diverse snapshot of the electorate, the survey queried more than 10,000 people and was conducted in five languages.
Initial findings from a UCLA-led nationwide survey of more than 10,000 adults reveal some of the differences and similarities among whites, blacks, Latinos and Asians when it comes to the White House agenda on immigration, taxes and health care reform.
Survey results showed significant differences in support toward both improving the Affordable Care Act and federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid and health services. Majorities from all groups — 77 percent of black respondents, 70 percent of Latinos, 68 percent of Asian respondents and 54 percent of white respondents — said they think that Obamacare should be amended and improved, not repealed. And while 57 percent of white respondents supported increasing spending for Medicaid and Medicare, the numbers were higher for all other groups — for Asians it was 60 percent, and 68 percent for Latinos and 76 percent for blacks.
UCLA political scientist professors Matt Barreto and Lorrie Frasure-Yokley served as co-principal investigators with Janelle Wong, professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland and Edward Vargas, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
“With this data, we can better understand how racial and ethnic groups differ in their views toward today's most pressing political and policy issues,” Frasure-Yokley said.
The survey asked people in the four groups their opinions about the 2016 election and ongoing public policy issues that also included climate change, federal spending, policing, racial equality and more.
To capture a demographically and geographically diverse snapshot of the electorate, the 2016 “Collaborative Multi-Racial Post-Election Survey” queried more than 10,000 people and was conducted in five languages — English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. To include the most comprehensive list of electoral, civic and policy-related survey questions, 86 researchers from 55 colleges and universities contributed questions. A full list of collaborators and access to topline results is available at Latino Decisions, the political opinion research firm that led the data-gathering effort.
In spring 2016, with the presidential primaries in full swing, the co-principal investigators began building a national cooperative of scholars in the social sciences whose research interests focus on the study of U.S. racial and ethnic politics. With its collaborative focus, the CMPS also contributes to building an academic pipeline of scholars in the social sciences, by bringing together a multidisciplinary group of researchers at varying stages of their careers, Frasure-Yokley said.
Majorities of respondents across all groups surveyed said they believe that taxes on the rich should be increased to give the middle class a tax break — 73 percent of all black, Latino and Asian respondents agreed with this sentiment, and 63 percent of white respondents did as well.
“While there was dovetailing agreement on many pressing issues, we see that race still matters in America,” Frasure-Yokley said.
Strong majorities from all racial groups surveyed favor a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants — 76 percent of black respondents, 81 percent of Latino, 69 percent of Asian and 71 percent of whites. Yet whites were much more likely than other racial groups to support deporting of undocumented immigrants. However, even in that case, less than one out of three whites said they supported deportation. Whites are the only group in which a majority supported increased public spending on border security and police.
Less than a quarter of Latino, white and Asian respondents agreed that there should be a constitutional ban on gay marriage. Slightly more —27 percent — of black respondents favored such a ban. Unusually, in response to this statement about a third of respondents in each group neither agreed nor disagreed.
Black and Latino respondents were the strongest supporters of increased spending on public education at 80 and 70 percent, respectively. Sixty-one percent of whites favored increased education spending and 66 percent of Asians.
“As academics and analysts we have a responsibility to help bring to light information that will aid in policy decision-making,” said Barreto, who is co-founder of Latino Decisions.
Participating scholars, which includes junior and senior faculty as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, will convene to share findings during a conference this summer at UCLA. All who provided content and financial backing for the survey received access to responses from the complete set of 394 questions.
“One of the most exciting aspects of this project is that it is truly collaborative from across the country,” Barreto said. Frasure-Yokley and Barreto also were part of teams that conducted smaller post-election multi-ethnic surveys after the 2008 and 2012 elections. “Bringing a diversity of views and voices to the project greatly improved the topics and content we covered.”
Of those surveyed, 60 percent were registered voters. Of those voters, 92 percent of black respondents voted for Hillary Clinton and 5 percent for Donald Trump. For Latinos, 77 percent said they voted for Clinton and 19 percent voted for Trump. Asian respondents voted 73 percent for Clinton versus 22 percent for Trump. And 37 percent of white respondents voted for Clinton and 57 percent for Trump.
Attitudes were split on climate change. Only 49 percent of white respondents said the federal government should pass laws to combat climate change, compared to 69 percent of Asians, 65 percent of Latinos and 62 percent of black respondents.
Personal experiences with discrimination also varied widely, as did feelings about Black Lives Matter. Nearly two thirds of blacks support activism by the Black Lives Matter movement, along with nearly half of all Latinos and nearly 40 percent of Asians. Thirty-seven percent and 42 percent of Latinos and Asians, respectively, neither support nor oppose the movement's activism. On the other hand, 44 percent of white respondents oppose such activism.
The cooperative survey was self-funded through the purchase of question content by contributors. The survey is among the first to use an online platform in combination with web-based random sampling directly from the voter registration rolls. It included video and audio stimuli and split-sample experimentation in question wording, consistent with the latest methods and approaches in survey research. After collecting all responses, researchers weighted the final data with a standard model to bring it in matching balance with the 2015 U.S. Census demographics for each racial group.
Source: Published originally on UCLA Newsroom. UCLA leads nationwide, multiracial survey of attitudes about politics and policy, by Jessica Wolf, March 10, 2017.