Today, U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), joined his colleagues at the opening meeting of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee. In his opening remarks, Rep. Denham called for policies that protect and support Central Valley agriculture and jobs.
Recent years of drought combined with California’s state water grab are threatening Central Valley’s agriculture industry. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke both recognized these challenges during recent visits to the Central Valley at the request of Rep. Denham, and have committed to helping fight the state’s water grab to protect Central Valley water rights and agriculture. Programs that support specialty crops in the 2018 Farm Bill are a vital part of ensuring stability and sustainability of those valuable commodities.
Rep. Denham: “My Central Valley district is one of the top producing agricultural areas in the nation, and as a local farmer, I know how vital it is for my constituents and our nation that we protect our farmers and our farmland. California farmers must be treated fairly and promoted in the 2018 Farm Bill, and I look forward to working with all of you as we conclude our deliberations.”
Rep. Denham also called for the inclusion of his VETS-2-FARM Act, introduced alongside Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) earlier this year, which would connect veteran populations in need of more and better jobs with opportunities in the agriculture industry that is desperately in need of a new next generation of farmers. In May, Rep. Denham’s related amendment to require USDA to provide resources and information for veterans on how they can use their GI benefits for farming and agricultural programs passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019. The VETS-2-FARM Act gives our veterans the tools they need to use their hard-earned benefits to learn practical skills and launch careers in agriculture.
California’s Central Valley is one of the top producing agricultural areas in the nation. The Farm Bill has worked to help San Joaquin Valley farmers by providing stability and resources, which in turn, has helped Valley farms produce more than $6 billion worth of food in just Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties alone. As a whole, California farms and ranches produce nearly half of U.S. grown fruit, nuts and vegetables drive a large sector of the U.S. economy with $47 billion in product value.
Congressman Jeff Denham represents California’s 10th congressional district, which includes Stanislaus County and a portion of San Joaquin County. He is the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials and also serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Natural Resources. Congressman Denham’s full biography is available here.