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 Livestock and Foreign Agriculture subcommittee.  This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over policies, statutes, and markets relating to all livestock, poultry, dairy, and seafood.  It also oversees the inspection, marketing, and promotion of such commodities and products like aquaculture, animal welfare, grazing, foreign agricultural assistance, and trade promotion.

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

March 23, 2020 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) led bipartisan group of 27 lawmakers in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting targeted assistance for the specialty crop industry in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

March 19, 2020 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) led a bipartisan group of 42 lawmakers in calling on U.S. Department of State Secretary Mike Pompeo to ensure that H-2A agricultural visas get processed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 17, 2020 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) called on California’s Governor Gavin Newsom to activate National Guard members to help respond to and alleviate food insecurity across the state as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues.

Congressman Panetta is urging the state of California to utilize the National Guard and any other entities that could help provide food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable populations across the state as local and federal governments work together to mitigate the impact of this public health crisis.

February 20, 2020 Press Release

PACIFIC GROVE, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced that he introduced H.R. 5920, the bipartisan Monarch Action, Recovery, and Conservation of Habitat (MONARCH) Act.  Representatives Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24), Rodney Davis (R-IL-12), and Rob Woodall (R-GA-07) co-led introduction of the House bill.  Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

February 13, 2020 In The News

On Dec. 11, U.S. congressional representatives approved the Farm Workforce Modernization Act with a vote of 260-165. Congressman Jimmy Panetta led the effort in crafting the bill alongside several other representatives, including Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL).

The bill, touted as a benefit for the country’s agriculture industry and farmworkers, now awaits consideration in the Senate.

February 12, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) voted for the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, H.R. 2546, to provide permanent protections for large connected landscapes in California, Colorado, and Washington by designating approximately 1.37 million acres of federal land as new, expanded, or potential wilderness and safeguarding more than 1,200 miles of river as components of the National Wild and Scenic River System.

February 4, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address:

 

February 2, 2020 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) announced that he has invited Pablo Martinez, a former farmworker living and working on the central coast of California, as his guest to Tuesday’s State of the Union speech by President Donald Trump.

January 16, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize the over 200 American firefighters who have provided their services to combat the bushfires currently ravaging the Australian continent. The resolution also honors the longstanding partnership between the United States and Australia to share critical firefighting resources during times of crisis.

December 20, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) announced he co-introduced H.R. 5438, the End Valley Fever Now Act to address the potentially deadly disease caused by breathing toxic spores found in soil. Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21) is the lead sponsor of the bill.