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

September 21, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Agriculture Committee passed Rep. Jimmy Panetta’s (D-Carmel Valley) bipartisan Agricultural Fairs Rescue Act.  This bill would help fairs across the country recover from the severe financial losses they incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, 98% percent of agriculture fairs in the United States were cancelled, leading to an estimated $4.5 billion in revenue losses.  Rep.

September 14, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) released the following statement after President Biden announced his intent to nominate Elaine Trevino as the Chief Agriculture Negotiator for United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai.  In June, Reps.

July 8, 2021 Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), Congresswoman Kim Schrier (D-WA-8), Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), and Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) led several of their colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to House leadership requesting a robust investment of at least $40 billion in agricultural climate research, agricultural innovation, and agricultural research in any comprehensive infrastructure package that may move forward.   The letter elevates the concerning decline in overall research and development spending as a percentage of GDP, noting that food and agricul

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