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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

August 10, 2017 Press Release

SALINAS – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), along with House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (MN-7) and Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), hosted an agriculture roundtable session at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. The Congressmen held the roundtable to hear the concerns and priorities of local agriculture producers, farm workers, and nutrition organizations regarding the nation's food policy, including the Farm Bill.

Congressman Panetta and Congressman Costa made the below remarks:

August 10, 2017 In The News

A continued and growing labor shortage, immigration reform, nutrition and research funding are some of the top priorities and concerns of the agriculture industry here in the Salinas Valley.

With the national Farm Bill on the legislative horizon in 2018, Congressman Jimmy Panetta of the 20th District spearheaded an agricultural roundtable on Thursday to gather the key priorities and concerns of the industry and local leaders.

August 10, 2017 In The News
“It’s important to listen to people, gather that evidence, bring it back to Washington, and continue to fight for those topics important to the Central Coast, California, and ultimately the nation,” said Panetta.
August 7, 2017 In The News

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif. will host an agricultural roundtable with House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee ranking member Jim Costa, D-Calif., on Thursday in Salinas, Calif.

The event will be held at Hartnell College in Salinas, Panetta’s office said in an announcement.

July 27, 2017 In The News
Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif.said Salinas Valley growers and marketers were not under assault by NAFTA but were benefiting from it.
July 27, 2017 In The News
Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., challenged Brown’s concerns about Mexican imports, noting that there are farmers in the Salinas Valley in his district who have established farms in Mexico and use the profits from those farms to modernize their facilities in California.
July 27, 2017 In The News
But Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) challenged Brown's statement that specialty crops are "an industry under assault." He argued that produce growers in California's Salinas Valley are benefiting from NAFTA because it allows them to easily start additional businesses in Mexico. "There are family farms that continue to be successful during the winter months because they have farms in Mexico," Panetta said. "It turns out to be a complementary relationship. They make money and invest in their farms in the United States, including in mechanization, to help with the lack of labor situation they're facing."
July 26, 2017 In The News

On July 19, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) announced in a press release on his website that he and other members of Congress were supporting H.R. 2690, the Agriculture Worker Program Act — also known as the Blue Card Bill — which would shield undocumented agriculture workers from deportation and put them on the path to citizenship.

July 19, 2017 In The News

An unconventional prop sat beside the podium at a Tuesday press conference in Washington, D.C. -- watermelons.

July 19, 2017 In The News