Courtesy of Assemblyman Robert Rivas’ Office:
Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) was named Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee by Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). During his first term in the Assembly, Rivas has quickly emerged as a leader in efforts to strengthen California’s agriculture industry and protect farmworkers. Raised in farmworker housing, Rivas represents the 30th Assembly District, which includes the agriculture-rich Salinas and Pajaro Valleys near 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. As incoming chair of the Agriculture Committee, I pledge to be a strong voice for farmers, farmworkers, and consumers across our state.”
Rivas also announced that he will be launching a statewide agriculture tour in October to meet with a diverse group of agriculture industry members, farmworkers, and community leaders from across California. Findings from the statewide tour will help shape legislative policy recommendations.
“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.”
Said Rivas: “California has the most productive and diverse agriculture industry in the country. But like our state as a whole, our farms are currently facing unique challenges caused by the COVID-19 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.”
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.
“My connection to California’s farms is deeply personal,” added Rivas. “My grandfather was a farmworker, and I was raised in farmworker housing in San Benito County. I saw firsthand how a thriving farm can strengthen a whole community, and I saw the good that can result when farmers and farmworkers work together in mutual cooperation.”