A number of Democratic congressmembers are advocating for more attention to rural areas in the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris recently joined 12 representatives for both urban and rural ag communities in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asking for a COVID-19 rural task force at USDA that includes California.

The letter follows a similar one sent by other congressmembers in April. It also echoes concerns over federal broadband funding, that rural is different in California. While these communities can have higher populations, they are rural in every other sense and often dependent on ag, the letter argues.

"Rural communities in California have already incurred significant economic and other damages," they write. "Food banks are experiencing record demand while farmers have been forced to leave valuable crops unharvested due to lost contracts as the food service sector collapses. Further, existing and persistent issues such as access to health care and limited broadband connectivity have been exacerbated."

Top photo: Rep. TJ Cox, D-Fresno, joined the effort for a rural task force.