Diverse groups speak out in support of Rep. Costa for Ag Chair
(FRESNO, CA) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), who is seeking the chairmanship for the House Agriculture Committee, announced support from diverse groups that further solidify his ability to represent the rural and urban environments alike and fight for the diverse contributors to our food systems.
“I’m grateful to receive the endorsement of these diverse groups that I’ve had the honor to with over the years,” said Costa. “From the most rural reaches to the sprawling metropolitan areas, they truly represent the diversity of American agriculture. If elected, I will ensure the interests of these varying backgrounds are represented as we strive to address the challenges facing our agricultural systems.”
Congressman Costa’s strong working relationship with African American ag groups was touted by the African-American Farmers of California and the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce:
“Congressman Costa has worked closely with small farmers throughout California and helped us with funding through the USDA-NRCS Small Farm Programs,” said Will Scott, Jr., President of the African-American Farmers of California.
In a letter to House Leadership, Tara Lynn Gray, CEO of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce, wrote: “Congressman Costa understands the issues that affect agriculture and all the industries that are supported by it. He has also been a longtime advocate for federal nutrition programs, expansion of freight markets for U.S. farm products, workforce issues, immigration, agricultural research, natural resources, and on-farm conservation programs.”
Congressman Costa has also earned the support of Latino leaders in his own district and throughout California:
In a letter to House Leadership, CA State Senator Melissa Hurtado wrote: “Congressman Costa is exactly the right person for this job at precisely the right moment.”
“Congressman Costa has worked tirelessly for small rural communities throughout the Central Valley. Agricultural is the economic backbone of our cities and Congressman Costa has been there for our residents. He has championed programs for farmworkers and their families. We hope Congressional leadership will take into account the voices of the Latino elected officials in the Valley and the many constituents we represent,” said Mayor Victor Lopez, City of Orange Cove and Chair of the Central Valley Latino Mayors and Elected Officials Coalition.
“Congressman Costa’s knowledge and leadership on California’s agriculture and water is legendary, he has been a water leader since the days he served in the California legislature. Congressman Costa is by far the most knowledgeable lawmaker in California when it comes to our state’s complex agriculture, water issues and needs. He would be an outstanding Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee,” said Mario Santoyo, California Latino Water Coalition Executive Director.
Costa also received notable support from the following agricultural and conservation organizations:
“Congressman Costa comes from an Agriculture background and is extremely knowledgeable. He has consistently worked on behalf of our agricultural industry. California produces over 400 commodities. The Congressman’s knowledge of the industry along with its diversity of crops is of benefit and value to all other states. California feeds the nation and the world,” said Manuel Cunha Jr., President & CEO Nisei Farmers League.
“The California Waterfowl Association is proud to support Congressman Costa in his bid to lead the House Agriculture Committee. Congressman Costa’s longstanding efforts to maximize the wildlife benefits of agricultural lands by supporting voluntary, incentive-based programs in the Farm Bill and other legislation have proven critical to conserving waterfowl populations both in California and throughout the U.S.,” stated Mark Hennelly, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for California Waterfowl Association.
In a letter to House Leadership, Josh Huntsinger, President of the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association, wrote: “There is no one in the U.S. Congress better suited to lead the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture than Congressman Jim Costa. In addition to being uniquely qualified, he is dedicated to the prosperity of American agriculture and committed to doing so giving equally balanced consideration to the impacts on climate change and the environment.”
In a letter to Speaker Pelosi, California Farmers Union and California Dairy Campaign wrote: “Throughout his long tenure as an elected state and federal lawmaker, Rep. Costa has been a steadfast supporter of policies and programs that will benefit family farmers and ranchers during his work in the California State Legislature and US Congress. Rep. Costa has extensive experience working collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders to formulate farm and agricultural legislation, including dairy policy and many other complex federal policies and programs.”
In a letter to Speaker Pelosi and House Leadership, Ryan Jacobsen, CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau wrote: “As a lifelong resident of the nation’s number one agricultural county, [Congressman Costa] innately understands agriculture and its relationship to the critical economic vitality of rural America. He knows the need to make sure nutrition and the environment remain some of our top priorities. He has walked the fields of thousands of farms throughout this nation which has provided him the insights very few others will have in the new Congress. He represents the many small towns that are emblematic of rural towns across America which face distinct challenge of their own.”
In addition, The Fresno Bee Editorial Board wrote: “Costa has a superb background for the post and the focus and energy to do the job. His colleagues would do well to make him the next chairman of the Agriculture Committee."