Rep. Costa and Valley Agriculture Leaders Raise Concerns with Secretary Perdue
Fresno, CA – Today, Valley Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) and United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue hosted two events with local Valley producers to hear their concerns and explore ways to improve Valley agriculture.
Both events included tours of farms and sessions designed for local producers to share their concerns and priorities with the officials. Many issues critical to San Joaquin Valley communities were brought to the attention of the Secretary, including the impacts of tariffs on Valley agriculture producers and the local economy, the need for an accessible agricultural labor force, the need to improve the reliability of Valley water supplies, and the importance of immigration reform to Valley communities.
“I want to thank Secretary Perdue for coming to the Valley and hearing from our local farmers. As a third-generation family farmer, I know first-hand how vitally important trade, water, and access to labor are to our Valley’s agricultural system,” said Congressman Costa. “Agriculture is different in every region of the country, and it is important to understand these differences. California exports over 40 percent of its products, and tariffs are already beginning to negatively affect access to foreign markets. No one wins a trade war, and this one will hurt Valley communities and our families. I look forward to working with the Secretary to address these concerns.”
Costa continued, “There is no issue more important to the future of the San Joaquin Valley than ensuring reliable water supplies. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and the Administration in a bipartisan way to bring more water to our Valley.”
Congressman Costa has worked on food policy for decades, both in the California state legislature and the U.S. Congress. As a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, Costa has been appointed to the Farm Bill Conference Committee. The Committee is made up of House members and Senators tasked with reconciling the differences between the two chambers’ versions of the Farm Bill in order to move the policy forward.