Sen. Kamala Harris makes a trip to the Central Valley

Sen. Kamala Harris talk to Central Valley farmers

Fresno, Calif. - Wednesday, Senator Kamala Harris made a trip to the Valley.

She spent the day talking to local farmers and Valley leaders to get their input on the 2017 Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill is a multi-billion dollar piece of legislation that covers everything from food stamps to crop insurance, but at the meeting farmers were mainly concerned about two specific topics: water and immigration.

"We need to have a sustainable supply of water and in order to have that we need to have the right plumbing system in place to do so," said Sal Parra, Assistant Manager at Burford Ranch. 

"We don't know rather we're going to have people to pick crops until harvest, so it's kind of a daunting thing to think there won't be people there," said Joe Del Bosque, Farmer. 

The Senator says immigration is a top priority, in fact, Harris says she's partnered with Senator Dianne Feinstein to create a bill to help immigrant farm workers.

"The Agricultural Worker Protection Act, it will give folks who are working on the fields protection in regards to their document status," said Harris.

Harris says the Valley produces 50 percent of the fruits and veggies for the country, so she understands water storage needs to be a high priority on her list as well.

"This is an issue about the nutrition of our country, this is an issue about what we are going to do to protect our environment and ensure that we will have sustainable sources of water," said Harris.

For Fresno City Council-member Esmeralda Soria-- the daughter of immigrants-- this is about making sure Harris has the support from the valley she needs to fight for farmers on a national level.

"We're asking her to be a champion to be sure there are policies in place that address the immigration and water issues the Valley is facing," said Soria.

Many of the farmers who spoke to the senator also spoke her about the importance of building Temperance Flat.

Temperance Flat is a $2.8 billion damn that would add a million acre feet of water storage at Millerton Lake.


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