Several agricultural industry groups are issuing their support for Representative Jim Costa to take over as Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. The position became available after Representative Collin Peterson was defeated during the recent election. A coalition of more than 70 organizations within the agriculture community has endorsed Costa’s bid to lead the committee. The group sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraging his appointment.
“As a 16-year veteran of Congress and third-generation farmer, we believe that Congressman Costa possesses the experience and leadership adeptness needed to carry the Committee and its important work forward,” the letter states. “The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated many frailties within our society, not least among them the challenges that our food system faces. The House Agriculture Committee will not only play a vital role in the needs of producers who grow our food but also how we maximize access to it. We are confident that Congressman Costa will lead on these issues to the benefit of American farmers, ranchers, communities, and families.”
The letter details some of the many accomplishments of Costa’s tenure serving the 16th Congressional District. Costa’s district encompasses areas of Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties. The coalition points out Costa’s clear understanding of agricultural issues and the needs of rural communities from a national perspective. California Farm Bureau Federation, Western Growers Association, California Farmworker Foundation, Wine Institute, California Citrus Mutual, and United Ag were among the letter’s signatories. The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) also signed the letter after issuing an early message of support for Costa.
“California is the top agricultural producing region in the world, and it has been since 1867, the last time a California representative held the Chairmanship of the Agriculture Committee,” CFFA President Ian LeMay said in a press release. “By my estimation, California is due, and I can think of no better individual to lead the Agriculture Committee to help shape U.S. agriculture policy during these perilous times than Congressman Jim Costa.”