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.