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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

July 26, 2019 In The News

More than 40 California Democrats wrote to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today asking the administration to withdraw its proposed rule to crack down on eligibility rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

July 26, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) led his Democratic colleagues from the California Congressional Delegation in urging U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to rescind a proposed rule to eliminate broad-based categorical eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also referred to as CalFresh in California.

July 24, 2019 In The News

Federal regulations and a lack of targeted funding are preventing farmers from using climate-friendly agriculture practices, a representative from consumer-goods giant Unilever told lawmakers July 24.

June 28, 2019 Press Release

WATSONVILLE, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) hosted U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue in Watsonville, California to talk about the importance of innovation, immigration, and trade to the agriculture industry and communities on the central coast of California. 

Congressman Panetta and Secretary Perdue were joined by Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), who serves on the House Agriculture Committee with Congressman Panetta, to tour a local farm and learn more about their investments in innovation and research. 

June 27, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC –  Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to pause the Trump Administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

"I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the inclusion of an unnecessary citizenship question in the 2020 Census.  The Administration’s rationale for adding the question is inadequate and based on politics over sound policy.

June 26, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) supported passage of H.R. 3055, the Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Related Agencies, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020. 

Congressman Panetta secured over $29 million in critical federal funding that could benefit the central coast of California, including:

May 30, 2019 In The News

WATSONVILLE — When it comes to farmers and government, water supply in the Central Coast is at times “fighting words.”

Dale Huss said that the process of convincing coastal growers to stop turning to their own wells and start ordering delivery of recycled water sold by Pajaro Valley Water Agency a decade ago took teamwork. Huss oversees artichoke production for Castroville-based Ocean Mist Farms and led Pajaro Valley Water Agency’s Projects and Facility Operations Committee for more than 15 years.

April 2, 2019 In The News

As marchers walked down East Salinas’ Market Street in honor of Cesar Chavez’s birthday Sunday, Maribel Jacome pushed her stroller alongside the Alisal Community Arts Network marching band to hand out water.

She had two older daughters participating in the United Farm Workers of America’s event – not counting her baby girl in tow – to celebrate the 92nd birthday of the late UFW union leader who organized for better conditions for farmworkers.

February 19, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) announced today that he has been appointed to serve as an Assistant Whip for the 116th Congress.

February 14, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional leadership has appointed Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) to serve on three committees during the 116th Congress.  He will serve on the House Ways and Means Committee and its Trade Subcommittee.