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California produce groups among those to endorse Rep. Costa for Ag Committee chair

Nov 13, 2020 Press Release FRESNO, CA – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), who announced he will seek the chairmanship of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, received key endorsements from 70 agricultural organizations because of his extensive experience and effectiveness in delivering results for American agriculture.

“Congressman Costa is uniquely qualified to take on this responsibility,” the Organizations wrote. “We have seen firsthand the dedicated work and lasting impacts he has made to California agriculture and rural communities and are confident that he would carry this leadership forward to further develop agriculture policy throughout the nation.”

Congressman Costa has a long history of working with these diverse organizations to strengthen American agriculture.

“I’m honored to receive support from this diverse coalition, which reflects the breadth and width of American agriculture,” said Costa.

“Farming communities are facing the most difficult crisis of our lifetime and I’m confident that as Chair, my experience will allow me to lead this Committee in addressing the challenges they face to feed America.”

Among the 70 endorsing organizations, are the African American Farmers of California, California Farmworker Foundation, California Women for Agriculture, Western Growers Association, Wine Institute, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Fresh Fruit Association, Almond Alliance of California, United Ag, California Citrus Mutual, and the Family Farm Alliance.

“Farmers are increasingly seen as critical partners in the implementation of environmental policies, yet much more needs to be done to provide them the resources needed to meet regulatory mandates and ensure farmers are true partners in environmental policy, and no one understands this as deeply as Jim,” Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia said.

“California is the largest and most diverse agricultural state in the nation.” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “Given his decades of experience in California agriculture, we believe Congressman Jim Costa is the right person to lead the committee as Americans grapple with the challenge of keeping nutritious food available for all, growing the economic opportunities for new and existing agriculturalists and addressing the risk brought by a changing climate.”

“During his time in Congress, Congressman Costa has repeatedly demonstrated an astute knowledge for not only the needs of production agriculture, but also the needs of those who rely on our nation’s nutrition programs,” said CFFA President Ian LeMay.

“A farmer himself, Congressman Costa understands the daily challenges farmers face to produce food and fiber for the American and global consumer. … I can think of no better individual to lead the Agriculture Committee to help shape U.S. agriculture policy during these perilous times than Congressman Jim Costa. The Association knows that with his passion and leadership, Congressman Costa will advocate for all farmers, ranchers and consumers across the country.”

“Congressman Jim Costa has worked tirelessly on behalf of the California almond community as it has dealt with the challenges presented by trade issues and COVID-19,” said Elaine Trevino, President of the Almond Alliance of California.

“As a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, Congressman Costa has consistently shown his ability to work across the aisle while demonstrating a common-sense and pragmatic approach in dealing with a wide array of agricultural issues. He is well suited to chair the House Agriculture Committee and listen to all of the concerns of its members who represent a broad range of agricultural issues. The Almond Alliance fully supports his election as chair of this critically important committee.”

“It is vital to the future success of California agriculture to be represented by a member who can be a voice for our industry and help us work together on issues prevalent to our industry’s future,” said Kirti Mutatkar, President and CEO of UnitedAg.

“[The House Agriculture Committee] needs a leader who understands agriculture’s importance not only for our farmers, but for underserved communities and national security. Congressman Jim Costa is that leader,” said Casey Creamer, President and CEO of California Citrus Mutual.

Rep. Costa has a strong track record, playing a significant role in the House Committee on Agriculture since he first joined the Committee in 2005. His accomplishments include:

  • Designing a framework to provide critical support to farmers, farmworkers, and food-insecure Americans to weather the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Negotiating a beneficial deal for American agriculture in the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA);
  • Serving on the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee, successfully creating new programs and securing funding to expand markets, provide crop assistance, increase environmental stewardship, and feed America’s most vulnerable;
  • Fighting to include important programs in the 2014 Farm Bill as a Conference Committee member, providing disaster assistance for farmers, funding agricultural research and innovation, and implementing programs to reduce the spread of pests and diseases
  • Helping craft and pass the Food Safety Enhancement Act to provide key changes to our nation’s food safety network to continue to provide the world’s safest food
  • Codifying the importance of the Specialty Crop sector in American agriculture, through fighting to include Horticulture as its own title in the 2008 Farm Bill