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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

December 4, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the administration will increase requirements for hungry Americans using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh in California, and weaken states’ ability to provide food assistance in high-unemployment areas.

November 26, 2019 In The News

After the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control told consumers on Thursday not to eat romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley in California due to illnesses from E. coli O157, the head of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., both said they were devastated by the news and would work with the FDA and the CDC to try to figure out the root cause of the outbreak.

November 25, 2019 In The News

Courtesy of Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s Office:

Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the following statement after speaking with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannas about the ongoing investigation into an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce: 

November 22, 2019 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) released the following statement after speaking with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, Frank Yiannas about the ongoing investigation into an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce: 

November 22, 2019 In The News

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented farmworkers could see a new path to legalization under the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill presented in the House Judiciary Committee this week.

Proponents of the bill say the legislation will help address a severe worker shortage in agriculture, while granting more stability and security to those working in the fields.

November 21, 2019 In The News

MONTEREY – Passed on an 18-12 vote of the House Judiciary Committee, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill spearheaded by Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Carmel Valley, and five others, has been recommended for a full vote of the U.S. House of Representatives.

November 21, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill spearheaded by U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), Dan Newhouse (R-WA-04), Mike Simpson (R-ID-02), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25), passed the House Judiciary Committee on an 18-12 vote, recommending the legislation for a vote in the full U.S. House of Representatives.

November 8, 2019 In The News

MONTEREY – A federal grant totaling more than $1.6 million was awarded to Monterey County for reimbursement of Palo Colorado road repairs caused by severe winter storms that took place in February 2017.

Representative Jimmy Panetta, D-Carmel Valley, who helped get the funds, announced that the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the grant totaling $1,663,670.25 to pay back the county for its work.

November 8, 2019 In The News

Desde que Oswaldo llegó de México hace 17 años ha trabajado en los campos de California. “Sería maravilloso si pudiera tener un permiso para trabajar; y más tarde, la residencia. Podría andar más tranquilo sin tanta angustia”, dice este trabajador agrícola del Valle de Salinas en el norte del estado. 

November 7, 2019 In The News

Five California Congress members, including Zoe Lofgren (District 19) and Jimmy Panetta (District 20) have unveiled a House bill to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented farmworkers.

In an Oct. 30 “tele-press conference,” Lofgren and Panetta said their Farm Workforce Modernization Act would provide a path to legal status for nearly 250,000 California farmworkers provided they can demonstrate they have worked in agriculture in the past, will continue to work in agriculture in the future, and meet other requirements.