CALIFORNIA—Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) has been named Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee by Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). Raised in farmworker housing, Rivas represents the 30th Assembly District, which includes the agriculture-rich Salinas and Pajaro valleys on the Central Coast.
“My district is known as the ‘salad bowl of the world,’” said Rivas, “because our farms grow so much of the fresh produce that our nation and world rely upon to eat. From big growers to small family farms, the health of California’s agriculture industry is critically important.”
Rivas also announced that he will be launching a statewide agriculture tour in October to meet with agriculture industry members, farmworkers and community leaders. Findings from the statewide tour will help shape legislative policy recommendations.
“California has the most productive and diverse agriculture industry in the country,” Rivas said. “But like our state as a whole, our farms are currently facing unique challenges caused by the pandemic, widespread wildfires, and economic uncertainty. I look forward to listening and learning directly from the many people who are working to keep our agriculture industry thriving during this challenging time.”
On Aug. 31 the California Legislature passed Rivas’ first-in-the-nation Farmworker Covid-19 Relief Package. Each of the relief package’s three bills received strong, bipartisan support. With increasing evidence of disproportionate outbreaks of Covid-19 among farmworker communities, the bills now head to the Governor’s desk for consideration.
“Assemblymember Rivas has a track record of fighting for farmworkers and working closely with their employers,” Speaker Rendon said. “From his youth in farmworker housing to the present, he has been prepared to be chair of this committee. I am confident Assemblymember Rivas will meet this moment and maintain California’s agricultural leadership.”
The Assembly Agriculture Committee has broad jurisdiction over the Department of Food and Agriculture, agricultural commissions, agricultural commodities, food access, food and agricultural commodity labeling, livestock and poultry, milk and milk products, pest management, expositions and fairs, farmers markets, veterinarians, and other agricultural issues.
As Assemblymember in California’s 30th District, Rivas represents all or portions of the cities and towns of Aromas, Big Sur, Chualar, Gilroy, Greenfield, Gonzales, Hollister, King City, Morgan Hill, Salinas, San Martin, San Juan Bautista, Soledad, Spreckels and Watsonville.