Citrus Industry Wants Costa for House Ag Committee Chair

Len Wilcox California Corner, Industry News Release, Legislative

Jim Costa (Photo by Craig Kohlruss, Fresno Bee)

California Citrus Mutual (CCM), Florida Citrus Mutual and Texas Citrus Mutual have voiced their support that California Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) be appointed as the new chair of the House Agriculture Committee.

A CCM press release stated that Costa understands the industry’s issues, such as pest and disease, trade, water and immigration. Notably, Costa was instrumental in securing federal funding to support research to find a cure for the devastating citrus disease huanglongbing.

In addition, Costa’s record shows strong support for the citrus industry and specialty crops.

“The House Agriculture Committee needs a leader who understands its importance not only for our farmers, but for underserved communities and national security,” says CCM President/CEO Casey Creamer. “Congressman Jim Costa is that leader, and we are proud to offer our strong support.”

“U.S. agriculture, especially fruit and vegetable growers, are at a crossroad. Increasing production costs coupled with unregulated imports, place the U.S. grower in a desperate situation,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “I am confident that if appointed chair, Congressman Jim Costa will be a leader for agriculture in addressing these and other critical issues that affect growers and rural communities across the country.”

“The agricultural industry within Congressman Jim Costa’s district is very similar to specialty crops, including citrus within Texas, making him well versed in many of the issues that affect our growers,” says Dale Murden, president of Texas Citrus Mutual. “Citrus greening is a major concern for the Texas citrus industry, and we know Congressman Costa understands the issue well, and we are proud to support him.”

The CCM press release added, “We trust that Congressman Costa will lead the committee with his years of experience and dedication to agriculture in California and the United States.”

Source: California Citrus Mutual