Protecting Valley Agriculture

As a third generation family farmer, I know first-hand the daily challenges our farmers and ranchers face. Agriculture is our way of life and the viability of our region depends on this industry to create jobs and economic opportunity. This is why I have made protecting and growing Valley agriculture a top priority.

Securing a stable supply of water for our farmers and farm communities is central to supporting Valley agriculture. To make sure our farmers have the water they need to put food on America’s dinner table and put people back to work, I have pressed the Administration to increase our water allocations, secured federal funding for Valley water projects, and fought the flawed federal regulations that limit the water flowing to our region. Our work to secure our fair share is far from over, but we have made progress. To learn more about my fight for Valley water, click here.

Along with fighting for water, I have worked to ensure that our government recognizes the vital role Valley agriculture plays in our national economy. Our Valley is the leading producer of specialty crops which include tree nuts, fruits, dried fruits, and vegetables. For too long, the Valley did not receive its fair share of federal funds for these kinds of crops. To fix this, I worked with other Valley leaders to secure $1.7 billion for specialty crops in the 2008 Farm Bill. This was a win for our local economy and success we can build on.

A critical part of Valley agriculture is our dairy industry.  In 2009, dairy farms throughout the Valley and nation experienced one of the worst price crises of the last 40 years. America’s roughly 65,000 dairies lost over $12 billion. Sharp losses forced dairy farmers to lay off workers and, in many cases, shutter their operations. To protect Valley jobs and help the dairy industry get back on track, I introduced the Dairy Price Stabilization Act. My plan  would promote market stability and individual dairy farmers’ ability to grow their own business.

I have also worked to reduce some of regulatory burdens placed on Valley farmers and ranchers. Part of my work during the 2008 Farm Bill was to secure addition funding through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program to help farmers convert equipment to newer engines that meet air quality standards and water funding that helped growers install drip irrigation systems. I also support fully repealing the estate tax and have supported legislation that would exempt family farms and ranches from this burden. I know from personal experience the difficulty of protecting your family farm when a family member passes away.

I speak with our Valley’s farmers and ranchers on a daily basis to discuss what we can do to strengthen our agriculture industry. Being in close contact has allowed me to respond quickly to our Valley’s needs. When the European Grapevine Moth was detected in our Valley, I was able to press the USDA to release $2.75 million to help our farmers combat this foreign pest. These funds helped mitigate some of the economic impact it had on our summer harvest.

These are only a few examples of my work on behalf of Valley farmers and ranchers. Whether it is fighting for more water, securing additional funding, or advocating for expanding trade opportunities, I will continue to work to help our agriculture economy grow.

More on Protecting Valley Agriculture

Jan 16, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON (January 16, 2020) – Following an announcement from USDA on the award of $10.2 million in funding for animal pest and disease prevention and management efforts and the request for vaccine bank Foot and Mouth Disease proposals, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California issued the following statement. Both Peterson and Costa led bipartisan efforts to include of mandatory, long-term funding for these programs to ensure the U.S.

Jan 15, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON - House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (MN-07) and Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), Chairman of the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee, issued the following statements Wednesday after President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the first phase of a trade deal between the two countries.

Dec 12, 2019 Press Release

(WASHINGTON) - Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the House passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, groundbreaking legislation that provides a path to legal residency for nearly 250,000 California farmworkers:

Dec 10, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON- House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson and House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chairman Jim Costa released the following statements today following the announcement of a deal between House Democrats and The White House on United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Oct 30, 2019 Press Release

(Washington) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) joined a bipartisan delegation, including Congressmembers Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Doug Lamalfa (CA-01) and Dan Newhouse (WA-04) to introduce the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, groundbreaking legislation that that provides a path to legal residency for nearly 250,000 California farmworkers.

Oct 22, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON- House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chairman Jim Costa of California delivered the following statement after hosting a roundtable today with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection leaders:

Oct 16, 2019 Press Release
 

WASHINGTON- House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California released the following statement after a briefing from Ambassador Gregg Doud of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative:

Sep 25, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON (September 25, 2019) – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Chairman Jim Costa of California issued the following statements Tuesday on the release of details contained in a tariff reduction agreement between the United States and Japan.

Subcommittee Chairman Costa