July: "A New Paradigm is Needed for Labor Relations in Agriculture," Few Tickets Left for Docks to Delta - Live + More

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 In this Newsletter

 Weekly Blog Round Up

"A New Paradigm is Needed for Labor Relations in Agriculture"

"Docks to Delta" Tickets Available

Next Merced County Local Food Promotion Meeting

California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) is the only California non-profit with a mission to conduct public interest research that strengthens social justice and increases the sustainability of California's rural communities. 

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"A New Paradigm is Needed for Labor Relations in Agriculture"

As you may know, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA).  In our newest paper, by CIRS founder Don Villarejo,  "A New Paradigm is Needed for Labor Relations in Agriculture," we review the law, what has and has not changed, and we put forth a suggestion for action towards a new paradigm. 

From the introduction, “The main thesis of the present report is that the economic status of California’s farm laborers has deteriorated, despite the Agricultural Labor Relations Act and the remarkably positive performance of the industry as a whole. The prospect that ALRA’s paradigm of labor versus capital would ultimately benefit most workers has largely been a failure. Labor unions and employers now battle in the courts and state legislature to gain advantage against one another, while many workers’ meager economic gains come from increases in the state’s minimum wage.


Based on the information presented in this report, it is clear that the time has come to advance a different paradigm for labor relations in California agriculture. "Food marketers, processors, farmers and ranchers, farm workers and farm labor organizations should be brought to the table to inform policy makers on developing mechanisms whereby all parties assume joint responsibility for improving the economic status of farm labor.” Continue Reading

For questions, please contact Gail Wadsworth, Co-Executive Director, CIRS, gwadsworth@cirsinc.org


Rural California Report Blog Roundup

House Republicans Revive California Water Wish List by Michael Doyle, Drought, Water Issues Remain Problems for Rural California in First Half of 2015 and Labor Law Changes Come to California in 2015 both by Philip Martin, as well as our feature, below, 

USDA Invests in Water Conservation by Sharon Licht.

All articles are featured on our website in the Rural California Report Blog, and are available there as free downloadable files.
USDA Invests in Water Conservation

by Sharon Licht

Last month, the USDA announced its plan to invest an additional $21 million of Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds to support on-farm water conservation efforts in severely drought-stricken areas. The investment will expand financial and technical assistance to crop and livestock producers in eight states, including California, in an effort to promote practices that conserve water and build soil health.

Administered by the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), EQIP supports on-farm conservation improvements through financial cost-sharing and technical assistance to growers. Over $27 million of FY 2015 EQIP funding is already targeted toward drought management practices in California. The additional funding will direct EQIP allocations to areas experiencing exceptional or extreme drought conditions, and focus on conservation practices that help farmers cope with drought, such as improving irrigation efficiency, implementing prescribed grazing, and building soil health through cover crops and reduced tillage. NRCS aims to both improve on-farm water use efficiency and also contribute to the long term resilience of crop, pasture, and rangelands against drought. Continue Reading

 "Docks to Delta" Event Tickets on Sale!

D2Devent Save the date

A HUGE THANK YOU to the 106 donors who helped us raise $9650 for Docks to Delta! This project is a go!! If you missed the campaign window, it's never too late to give and CIRS can always use your support-- this site  will stay up and is accepting donations.

In more exciting news, the Cal Ag Roots program just received a Cal Humanities Storytelling grant, and what a wonderful list of projects to be included in!

AND NOW, join us for DOCKS TO DELTA - LIVE on September 26th, 2015. Tickets are very limited, so don't wait!

Guests will board the Capitol Corridor train at Jack London Square in Oakland and will hear untold histories of California farming as they ride round-trip to Sacramento and back. Along the way to Sacramento, you'll hear 3 stories about California farming history in a thought-provoking, two-hour program and then you'll enjoy food, drink, beautiful vistas and conversation with one another and the storytellers on the return trip to Oakland. The views will be stunning, the train car will be comfortable, the company will be good and the stories will be lively! After the event, Docks to Delta stories will be released as a podcast series accessible to anyone. Jump on board to hear these stories first!

Next Merced County Local Food Promotion Meeting - Join Us!

Merced LFPP July 27th Flier


Thank you for your continued support!

Gail Wadsworth &Michael Courville

 Co-Executive Directors,

California Institute for Rural Studies

 California Institute for Rural Studies
P.O. Box 1047, Davis, CA 95617


Not interested any more?