Ag News: Farmworker Citizenship and Food Price Index Surges
**The California Farm Bureau is partnering with immigration advocates to support applications for U.S. citizenship by employees of its member farmers and ranchers.
The Farm Bureau has signed a contract with the National Immigration Forum to provide services including citizenship eligibility reviews, application preparation and case management.
The program is open to farm employees who already have green cards and legal status but hope to naturalize as U.S. citizens.
**The USDA extended the deadline for farmers who are certified organic, or transitioning to organic, to apply for pandemic assistance.
The Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program helps cover certification and education expenses.
The deadline to apply for 2020 and 2021 eligible expenses is now February 4th, rather than the original deadline of January 7th.
Signup for the 2022 fiscal year will be announced at a later date.
**Pushed by high meat prices, the Food Price Index will surge by 3.5% this year, its largest increase since the 5.5% rise in 2008.
The USDA tells www.agriculture.com, the index compares the average price increase for the current year with the average
increase for the preceding year.
Food prices typically rise about 2.4% a year.
Beef prices are up by 9.5% this year, pork by 8.5%, poultry by 5%, and fish by 5%, all at least twice as large as usual.