Agriculture companies in California and elsewhere are not obligated to house employees, nor is much state or federal money set aside for farmworker housing. In Salinas Valley, which is the fifth least affordable place to live in the United States, one company may be bucking the trend.
Residents in Weed, California, are challenging an Oregon-based timber company that is claiming rights to spring water on land that it owns but that has also supplied the town with drinking water for decades.
As fire chief in Kingsburg, a small town in California’s Central Valley, Tim Ray has done more than battle blazes in the past few years. Actual fires here are relatively few, in fact. These days, Ray, a trim 52-year-old with clipped moustache and gentle eyes, oversees a kind of volunteer medical transportation service, hustling patients from this idyllic town—settled by Swedish immigrants in the 1870s and still bedecked with “Välkommen” welcome signs—as far as 20 miles away, to a hospital in Fresno.
While the U.S. Census Bureau reported last week that rural incomes lag behind pay growth for urban residents, policy experts now say that incomes in rural America in fact grew in 2015.
While rural residents across the nation continue to find jobs, the pace at which they’re doing so still lags significantly behind urban employment gains, according to the Daily Yonder’s analysis.