Assembly Agriculture Chair Robert Rivas of Salinas, who will become speaker in June, says it is important for the Legislature to do all we can to support California agriculture.” Rivas introduced a resolution on Thursday honoring California Ag Day, which takes place Tuesday at the Capitol.
He pledged to support all the people who work in the industry. But more importantly we must support the communities,” he said, referring to the town of Pajaro in his district, which has been inundated with flooding over the past week.
Rivas called for reforms to ensure the industry can innovate and compete in a global market and to improve water conservation so crops can flourish. He said the burden of environmental protections should not fall on farmers alone, adding: We need support and resources from Sacramento to make this possible.”
Assemblymember Devon Mathis of Visalia took the microphone next to say lawmakers often forget about agriculture because it is not the top GDP driver. He sought to protect family farms and pushed back on rhetoric about big ag.” Assembly Minority Leader James Gallagher, meanwhile, has never been more concerned about the future of the industry, as costs have soared amid record fallowing. On the other side of the Capitol, Senator Brian Dahle of Bieber warned that family farms are being gobbled up” by large corporations and hedge funds.

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On a separate page from the other lawmakers, Republican Asm. Jim Patterson of Fresno once again pushed hard for cultivating an agave industry in California. One UC Davis study last year on the succulents drought-tolerant potential has stuck with him.
Watch for it. Its real,” he said. Its coming to California in a big way.”