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The central coast of California is home to a bountiful and beautiful agriculture industry. Our district alone produces over 100 different kinds of specialty crops, earning us the title of the “Salad Bowl of the World.”

As a member of the House Agriculture Committee as well as the House Ways and Means Committee, I will continue to advocate on behalf of the growers, shippers, and farm workers of the Central Coast who help contribute to this $5 billion economic engine. Serving on both the Agriculture and Ways and Means committees allows me to advocate for Central Coast farmers through trade, biotech innovations, and more.

Through my appointment to the Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research subcommittee I will work to ensure that producers, both conventional and organic, are supported by investments in plant breeding, pest management, and resource conservation. Our U.S. Department of Agriculture research station in Salinas is critical to this mission, working to develop solutions for the unique challenges faced by specialty crop producers, organic growers, and rural communities.

As a member of the Nutrition subcommittee to help expand access to the fresh fruits and vegetables grown in our district. The programs under this subcommittee’s jurisdiction are expansive, ranging from the meals our children eat at school to the availability of farmers markets in our communities.  With so much agriculture production in our district, I want to ensure than the products we grow are accessible by all.

I also serve member of the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture subcommittee.  This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over policies, statutes, and markets relating to all livestock, poultry, dairy, and seafood.  It also oversees the inspection, marketing, and promotion of such commodities and products like aquaculture, animal welfare, grazing, foreign agricultural assistance, and trade promotion.

Although the Agriculture Committee and Ways and Means Committee do not handle immigration reform, I realize that our nation’s immigration policy greatly affects our agriculture, especially on the Central Coast. That is why I advocate for bipartisan immigration reform every chance possible. Despite the rhetoric, declarations, and Executive Orders coming out of the Administration, I will work with my Democratic and Republican colleagues, especially those on the Agriculture Committee, to craft an effective farm labor solution that provides certainty for both our growers and farmworkers.

Read more about the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, here

More on Agriculture

September 26, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK) sent a letter to House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee leadership requesting retention of Section 602 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020. Section 602 provides a basic needs allowance for low-income military service members facing unique costs associated with military service.

September 23, 2019 In The News

California Congressman Jimmy Panetta introduced legislation Friday to “prevent harmful and unfair tariff engineering of Chinese dried garlic imports.” While the U.S. levies a 30% tariff on dried garlic, loopholes allow for duties as low as 8% on other types of imported garlic.
Panetta said in a statement this has “allowed for Chinese garlic importers to disingenuously characterize their products.”

September 20, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced legislation to protect and promote the United States’ domestic garlic industry.  The Giving Agriculture Relief from Loopholes in International Commerce (GARLIC) Act prevents harmful and unfair tariff engineering of Chinese dried garlic imports.

September 20, 2019 In The News

WASHINGTON - Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) introduced the Giving Agriculture Relief from Loopholes in International Commerce (GARLIC) Act to prevent unfair tariff engineering of Chinese dried garlic imports.

September 15, 2019 In The News

Policy advocate Jessica Bartholow of the Western Center on Law and Poverty had a question for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on June 27, at a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Carmel Valley, in Watsonville. After pointing out that the Trump administration was proposing to cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously known as food stamps, to “able-bodied adults without dependents” – despite bipartisan support of the 2018 Farm Bill outlining such benefits – she asked if Purdue “had a sense” whether he would proceed.

September 9, 2019 Page

Congressman Panetta Sends Letter to USDA on Rescission of 4-H LGBTQ Guidance 

July 26, 2019 In The News

More than 40 California Democrats wrote to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today asking the administration to withdraw its proposed rule to crack down on eligibility rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

July 26, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) led his Democratic colleagues from the California Congressional Delegation in urging U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to rescind a proposed rule to eliminate broad-based categorical eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also referred to as CalFresh in California.

July 24, 2019 In The News

Federal regulations and a lack of targeted funding are preventing farmers from using climate-friendly agriculture practices, a representative from consumer-goods giant Unilever told lawmakers July 24.

June 28, 2019 Press Release

WATSONVILLE, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) hosted U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue in Watsonville, California to talk about the importance of innovation, immigration, and trade to the agriculture industry and communities on the central coast of California. 

Congressman Panetta and Secretary Perdue were joined by Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), who serves on the House Agriculture Committee with Congressman Panetta, to tour a local farm and learn more about their investments in innovation and research.