California’s central coast 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, I look forward to advocating on behalf of the growers, shippers, and farm workers of the Central Coast who help contribute to this $5 billion economic engine. My appointment to the Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research subcommittee will allow me 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.
I also look forward to working on 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.
Although the Agriculture Committee does 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 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.
As the Agriculture Committee negotiates the next farm bill, I am excited by the opportunity to advocate for the growers, shippers, farmworkers, and consumers of our district. When our rural communities thrive, we all benefit.
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Congressional staff members will be available in Watsonville, Hollister, and Soledad to assist constituents with issues concerning Social Security, Medicare, immigration, veterans affairs, expediting paperwork for passports, searching military records, or any other federal matters. To schedule a meeting, please call my Salinas office at 831-424-2229.
WHEN & WHERE:
Wednesday, December 13 — Watsonville
Watsonville Public Library
275 Main Street, Suite 100
Watsonville, CA 95076
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), along with his fellow Members of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), wrote U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin to request that the agency annually share information on the number of veterans who struggle with food insecurity. Beginning November 1, 2017, the VA started collecting information regarding food insecurity among veterans, agency-wide.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20) recently met with United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. The Secretary was in California over the weekend for a visit to the Central Valley. Congressman Panetta and Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA-16) met with Secretary Perdue at a farm owned by 21-year-old Mark Cavallero in Madera County. Mr. Cavallero is a 2017 National FFA Organization American Star Farmer finalist.
When Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was governor of Georgia, he enacted one of the harshest immigration laws in the nation.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) announced that California FarmLink, located in Aptos, will receive a federal grant totaling $930,000 from the U.S. Department of Treasury. The funds are awarded through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which provides access to capital for low-income entrepreneurs in economically distressed communities.
WASHINGTON (October 20, 2017)- On Tuesday, October 17th, a bipartisan group of 79 Members of Congress sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, urging agencies responsible for regulating biotechnology to coordinate and advance policies and strategies that promote innovation in agriculture, domestically and internationally, through the President's Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.
Editor’s Note: This blog was written in partnership with our member organization, the Organic Farming Research Foundation.