Agriculture

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 Convervation and Forestry subcommittee.  As a member of this subcommittee, my colleagues and I develop solutions to keep communities safe from wildfire and ensure the health of our federal forests, including the Los Padres National Forest in my district, and expand access to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's conservation programs, to help farmers be part of the climate solution. This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over resource conservation, forestry, and all forests under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Agriculture.

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

April 9, 2021 Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) along with Representatives Billy Long (R-MO), Mike Levin (D-CA), and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced bipartisan legislation to help preserve agricultural fairs across the country and offset the devastating financial losses they have experienced due to COVID-19.  The Agricultural Fairs Rescue Act would provide $500 million in federal grants for agricultural fairs through state departments of agriculture.

April 6, 2021 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) was joined by Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN-02) to introduce the bipartisan Preserving Family Farms Act.  The legislation would help family-owned farms continue operations after a loved one has passed by easing the burden of the estate tax.  The bill would modernize the special use valuation provision of the estate tax by increasing the amount of farmland that can be valued for farming operations rather than development value.  This would protect family-owned farmland by assessing estate taxes on the act

March 18, 2021 Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) and his House colleagues passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA).  In 2019, Congressman Panetta was part of a select and small bipartisan group of Congress members that worked diligently to formulate the bill over a period of nine months.  The group, led by Chair of the Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Zoe Lofgren, included Democratic and Republican lawmakers as well as representatives of farmers and farmworkers.  The FWMA would provide a path to legalization for farmworkers who are willing to conti

March 9, 2021 Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced the reintroduction of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA) for the 117th Congress.  The bipartisan legislation led by Congressman Panetta, Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Mike Simpson (ID-02), Jim Costa (CA-16) Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), and Mario Diaz-Balart  (FL-25) would protect the existing agriculture workforce by providing an earned pathway to legalization and potential for citizenship for those who have and will continue to work in agriculture and improve the H-2A visa guestworker progra

February 12, 2021 Press Release

This week, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) directly worked on over a half of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Rescue legislation that is in the U.S.

February 9, 2021 Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) and Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) led a group of Congressional members in a letter to Governor Newsom to ensure outreach to farmworkers as part of the State of California’s Phase 1B distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine.  The letter requests a robust educational campaign, including linguistically accessible and culturally appropriate resources, to ensure these essential workers feel secure in seeking out and accepting the vaccine.  The letter also acknowledges that all levels of government must work together to protect the agricultural

February 5, 2021 Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced that he was appointed by Congressional leadership to serve on three important House Committees in the 117th Congress: the House Committee on Ways and Means, the House Committee on Agriculture, and the House Committee on Armed Services.  This will be Congressman Panetta’s third consecutive term serving on the Agriculture Committee and his second serving on Ways and Means.  He was asked to return to the Armed Services Committee having served on the committee during his first term in office.

 

January 11, 2021 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), Jim Costa (CA-16), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), and Fred Upton (MI-06) led 70 colleagues in a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging them to allocate specific funding to protect our nation’s essential agricultural workers as they work to implement agricultural provisions from H.R.133 – the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

December 21, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) commended the House passage of a bipartisan $1.4 trillion FY2021 Omnibus spending package.  The FY2021 Omnibus funding measure includes appropriated funding for COVID relief, veterans’ healthcare, clean energy, and more.  The spending package also addresses expiring tax provisions for small businesses such as Central Coast wineries, families, and clean energy.  The Omnibus will now go to the Senate fo

December 13, 2020 Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) released the following statement following Katherine Tai’s nomination to serve as U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) under the Biden-Harris Administration:

“I congratulate Katherine Tai on her well-deserved nomination to serve as U.S. Trade Representative and commend the President-elect for his excellent choice.”