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Farm Workforce Modernization Act Reintroduced

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The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) applauds the reintroduction of H.R. 1537 “Farm Workforce Modernization Act” which will create a workforce solution for the nation’s agriculture industry. California agriculture represents $50 billion in production value and is a leader in the nation’s exports. However, securing a reliable workforce in California and across the nation has remained a constant struggle within the industry. With the introduction of H.R. 1537, there is an optimism that these concerns will finally be addressed.

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Thomas J. Vilsack was confirmed as the 32nd United States Secretary of Agriculture on Feb. 23, 2021 by the U.S. Senate

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He was nominated by President Joe Biden to return to a role where he served for eight years under President Barack Obama.

As leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the 30th Secretary of Agriculture between 2009-2017, Vilsack worked hard to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for innovation in rural America. He fought to put Americans back to work by investing in rural infrastructure, renewable energy and large-scale conservation partnerships.

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In Kern County, Governor Newsom Announces New Central Valley Vaccine Initiatives Serving Hardest-Hit Communities

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As California continues to ramp up vaccination efforts statewide, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that the state is partnering with OptumServe and local counties to open up to 11 vaccination sites within the next week to serve some of the hardest-hit or most at-risk communities in the Central Valley, in addition to other steps to bolster vaccination efforts in the region.

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H-2A Wage Increase Set

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H-2A wages will increase by 4.5% in 2021. The U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA released its Farm Labor Survey, which the Department of Labor will use to generate the 2021 Adverse Effect Wage Rates for the H-2A program, according to a news release.

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Santa Barbara County Food and Agriculture Clinic Consortium Letter to Secretary Richardson

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Dear Secretary Richardson,

Congratulations on your recent appointment and thank you for your leadership during this time of great need. The Santa Barbara County Food and Agriculture Clinic Consortium was convened to advance the common goal of promoting public health by administering the COVID vaccine to Food and Agriculture Workers who want to receive the vaccine as quickly and smoothly as possible.

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Governor Newsom, Legislative Leaders Announce Immediate Action Agreement for Relief to Californians Experiencing Pandemic Hardship

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Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon today announced that they have reached an agreement on a package of immediate actions that will speed needed relief to individuals, families and businesses suffering the most significant economic hardship from the COVID-19 Recession.

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Chairman Scott Welcomes Members of the House Agriculture Committee for the 117th Congress

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Ahead of today's House Agriculture Committee Full Committee Virtual Meeting, Chairman David Scott of Georgia welcomed new and returning Democratic Members of the Committee for the 117th Congress.

"The issues facing the Agriculture Committee are as important now than ever before," said Chairman Scott. "While this roster includes an impressive diversity of region, background, and agricultural priorities, I have faith that each of these Members will work diligently to fight for the interests of our consumers, food and fiber producers, and rural communities."

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Agriculture Committee Subcommittee Chairs Applaud Budget Reconciliation Package

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The House Agriculture Committee released the text of the Agriculture and Nutrition Title of the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Reconciliation.

The package would provide $16.112 billion in funding to multiple programs and missions, including a historic effort to aid Black farmers and other farmers of color, as well as investing in 1890 Land Grants and other minority-serving institutions and community-based organizations that serve these farmers and ranchers and their communities.

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Governor Gavin Newsom Selects Secretary of State Alex Padilla as California’s Next United States Senator

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Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the selection of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to be California’s next United States Senator, filling the term being vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Padilla, who previously served as a Los Angeles City Councilman and State Senator, and is a national leader in the fight to expand voting rights, will become the first Latino to represent California in the United States Senate and the first Southern Californian in nearly three decades.

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Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Regulation

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On November 19, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board unanimously adopted an emergency regulation on workplace safety regarding COVID-19. The regulation was released only 5 days before the hearing.

The emergency regulation is a mix of the requirements found in existing Cal/OSHA guidelines; incorporation of definitions and requirements from AB 685 (Reyes) passed by the Legislature this year; and brand new employer mandates.

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