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Agriculture

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.

 

More on Agriculture

June 9, 2017 In The News

Democratic Congressman Jimmy Panetta has moved forward on two initiatives to support the nation's agricultural industry. Panetta, who represents the 20th congressional district, which includes major growing regions in the Salinas and Pajaro Valleys and parts of Santa Clara Valley, has joined forces with Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois to establish the bipartisan Congressional Agriculture Research Caucus.

June 9, 2017 In The News
Meanwhile, Democratic members of the House spoke to other concerns. Rep. Jimmy Panetta of California worried about the implications of reducing the country’s role internationally. “When we don’t lead, that vacuum is filled,” he said. And Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio argued for the pure humanity of the programs. “Of all the things we could cut, we would cut food,” she said. “We have become complicit, or will become complicit, in the starvation of hungry women and children.”
June 8, 2017 In The News

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation have praised Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., and Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., for establishing the bipartisan Congressional Agriculture Research Caucus.

June 7, 2017 In The News

WASHINGTON – A Trump administration plan to eliminate popular and longstanding foreign food aid programs as a cost-saving measure would be short-sighted and ill-advised, witnesses testifying before a House agriculture panel said Wednesday.

But even before they got started, the Republican chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Rep. Michael Conaway of Texas, said the proposed cut to the McGovern-Dole and Food for Peace programs “seems contrary to the role they play in a robust ‘America-first’ policy.”

June 7, 2017 In The News

WATSONVILLE >> Agricultural workers and their families could become eligible to apply for a “blue card” that would give them a one-time opportunity to acquire legal citizenship status and work authorization if they show consistent employment in U.S. agriculture over the past two years, pay a fine and pass a thorough background check.

June 6, 2017 In The News

Salinas >> Three area airports have received federal grants for runway improvements and rehabilitation, the office of Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Carmel Valley announced Tuesday.

Salinas Municipal received $82,581, Mesa Del Rey in the King City district received $334,606, and Watsonville Municipal got $292,200.

“Each year the airport applies for grant dollars,” said Brett Godown, Salinas airport manager. “It’s the best use of money for capital projects where the city pays about 5 to 10 cents on the dollar.”

June 6, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), announced that three airports on the central coast of California have received federal grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration. Mesa Del Rey received $334,606, Salinas Municipal received $82,581, and Watsonville Municipal received $295,200. Specifically, the federal grants will be used for runway improvements and rehabilitation.

June 5, 2017 In The News
The silver lining of the roiling immigration debate is that it’s finally being discussed, says Live Earth Farm’s Broz. “Maybe it takes an administration like the one we have right now to [make people] realize what’s at stake,” he says. “[Maybe] enough people will put pressure on elected officials to implement comprehensive immigration reform. Things might come to a head where things have to get done.” The trick in getting the new administration’s ear, says Panetta, will be to drive home the economic argument—that the Central Coast’s $9 billion ag and nearly $3 billion hospitality industries, for instance, are inextricably linked to immigrant labor. “We know on the Central Coast how important immigration is to this area—without immigrants the economy would be devastated and the Central Coast would almost shut down,” Panetta says. “First thing is you’ve got to get Donald Trump out to the district, out to the fields,” Panetta continues. “This is a guy who grew up in Queens, who lived in a golden tower. The last person he picked in his cabinet was the secretary of agriculture. In the budget he put forward, he wants to cut 21% from the USDA. We need to speak to him on economic terms and let him know that the food he eats doesn’t just come from the store, but it comes from the fields. And in order to get from the field into your mouth, it takes people—especially with our specialty crops on the Central Coast.”
June 5, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20) and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) have joined together to establish the bipartisan Congressional Agriculture Research Caucus.

June 5, 2017 In The News

20th District Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) and Rodney Davis the Republican Congressman from Illinois joined together to start the bipartisan Congressional Agriculture Research Caucus.

The Caucus focuses on topics related to agriculture research, innovation, and mechanization efforts, and is coming at a time as Congress prepares for the 2018 Farm Bill.