Members of Congress visit the Central Valley to talk priorities of farmers

Local News

Two Democratic congress members got a firsthand look at the challenges that our local farmers face.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, covering the Oakland area for District 13, and newly elected congressman TJ Cox of District 21, made several stops in the Central Valley.

The valley is known as the fruit basket of the world, so, Lee says she wanted to see first hand the issues at stake.

A tour of the valley’s most valued commodity: Fowler packing. Just one of several stops Cox and Lee made Wednesday morning.

Lee is part of an ag subcommittee receiving a crash course on some of the new challenges valley farmers face after being thrown into the middle of a trade war with China.

The congresswoman takes a jab at President Donald Trump: “The president is a hypocrite on so many issues, you can’t even begin to lay them out.”

Both representatives held an ag roundtable while immigration continues to be the hot button issue

“You talk to any type of farmer or producer and they’ve been devastated not only by the trade policies but by this administration’s immigration policies as well, we know that farmers they don’t want aid, they want trade,” Cox explains.

The president promises relief to farmers with a trade bailout of $16 billion, but Lee says the president will receive some push back.

“We got to mitigate against some of this president’s policies which I think are very devastating,” Lee says.

Many farmers are still bracing for the worst. Fowler Packing echoes the sentiment of many growers as they try to keep the ag industry moving forward while dealing with new regulations.     
“There’s a lot of things that we all as an industry deal with and we want to do what we can to make it right,” says Grant Parnagian with Fowler Packing.

Lee plans to take what she learned on this visit back to Washington D.C. with hopes of prioritizing the needs of the valley.

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