Costa, Valadao relaunch Congressional Specialty Crops Caucus ahead of farm bill

The duo are leading a bipartisan group of Congressional representatives to advocate for specialty crops.

Two local Congressman have relaunched the bipartisan Congressional Specialty Crops Caucus. 

Representatives Jim Costa (D–Fresno) and David Valadao (R–Hanford) announced the caucus on Monday. 


Driving the news: The Congressional Specialty Crops Caucus is dedicated to highlighting the issues that face the specialty crop industry, as well as building support for policies that allow specialty growers, processors and partners to prosper. 

  • Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops. 
  • According to a joint press release, specialty crops account for over one-third of farm gate value and represent 2.2 million jobs across the nation. 
  • Specialty crops also contributed $120.6 billion in labor income to the economy last year. 

The big picture: Representatives Elissa Slotkin (D–MI) and David Rouzer (R–NC) joined Costa and Valadao in relaunching the caucus as co-chairs. 

  • Other members of the caucus include Representatives Chellie Pingree (D–ME), Doug LaMalfa (R–Richvale), Mario Diaz-Balart (R–FL), Buddy Carter (R–GA), Drew Ferguson (R–GA), Rick Allen (R–GA) and Jim Baird (R–IN). 

What we’re watching: Monday’s news comes as Congress is putting together a new farm bill that Politico reports is being pushed by Republicans to have a draft out by the end of May. 

What they’re saying: “California is the leading producer of specialty crops, with over 400 different crops. Any Farm Bill must include strong, bipartisan support for specialty crops,” Costa said. “This caucus will continue advocating for policies that allow specialty crop growers to continue providing American families with safe, healthy foods.”

  • “Specialty crop producers have faced many challenges over the last few years,” Valadao said. “From supply chain backlogs at our ports, rising input costs, labor shortages, and drought; our producers have continued to supply the world with fresh, nutritious food despite these obstacles. Specialty crops are a cornerstone of California agriculture, and we need to ensure these producers are supported at the federal level. I’m excited to be co-chairing the Specialty Crops Caucus to ensure our specialty crop producers have a seat at the table in Washington.”
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