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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

October 17, 2017 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20) and Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-FL-02) led a bipartisan group of 79 House members in urging the USDA, FDA, and EPA to work together to promote innovative new technologies, including agricultural gene editing, to increase yields and reduce the cost of production. In the letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, and Administrator Scott Pruitt, the members seek the agencies’ cooperation in creating consistent regulatory proposals that foster innovation.

September 19, 2017 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) announced that El Pajaro Community Development Corporation, a development company in Watsonville, will receive a federal grant totaling $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The funds will be used to provide business education, business development training, business counseling/coaching and access to capital in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties.

September 19, 2017 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) announced that California FarmLink, located in Aptos, will receive grant support totaling $599,074 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The funds, awarded through USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, will be used to train local beginning farmers and help them access land, capital, and marketing opportunities.

September 13, 2017 In The News
Reps. Jimmy Panetta, Collin Peterson and Jim Costa of the House Agriculture Committee hold session in Salinas to hear concerns from the ag industry to incorporate into the 2018 Farm Bill
August 28, 2017 In The News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded two research grants to help California strawberry farms manage soil disease.  

One grant for US$4.5 million supports a national team of experts led by the University of California (UC) Davis to identify strawberry plants naturally resistant to certain diseases.  

The other grant for US$2.5 million supports another national team of experts led by UC Santa Cruz to continue research on bio-fumigation (a natural process that suppresses soil disease). 

August 25, 2017 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – This week, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) welcomed Congressman Sanford Bishop (GA-02), ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, to the central coast of California to tour agriculture facilities, meet with producers and farmworkers, and learn more about the over 100 specialty crops grown in California’s 20th congressional district.

August 18, 2017 In The News

HE WOULD get questions about healthcare, immigration and other important issues at a town hall meeting at Cal State Monterey Bay Monday, but Congressman Jimmy Panetta opened the night with a stinging rebuke of President Donald Trump, including the commander in chief’s “weak” response to the killing of a woman in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12 by a man said to be a Nazi sympathizer.

August 12, 2017 In The News
Democrats come to Salinas to talk about farming, but the conversation heated up when it turned to North Korea and President Trump's leadership abilities
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.