Produce, Nuts, & Dairy. We have it all!
California is the country’s top agricultural producer, growing two-thirds of the nation’s fruits and nuts and more than a third of its vegetables. More than 80 percent of California farms are small and family-owned, including right here in our district.
I know that agriculture is a complex issue, with struggles over water rights, land encroachment, and hard negotiations with nationwide, corporate food suppliers. My number one priority will to be stand with farmers in the district in fighting for their fair share of resources and fighting back against "Big Food" that wants to control our farmers and farmland.
My first studies were in horticulture at California State Polytechnic University. My love of growing food, plants, and flowers has stayed with me through my personal and professional life. As a council member in Riverbank, I started a community garden that was certified organic and sustained the high school's Future Farmer's of America by selling produce at the Farmer's Market I ran.
As we face threats from climate change, drought, and population increase, it's becoming more important that we have a revolution in how we grow and supply food for our communities, which includes a focus on community gardens, bringing the business of packaging food closer to the farms that grow it, and using our global power to stand strong for our rights.
We must make sure to protect our farms, farmers and farm workers from environmental, health, and economic threats. We need to end the use of toxic pesticides and other toxic chemicals so that workers are not getting sick and food is not being compromised. We need to stand with farms against corporate interests who want to pay unfair prices for product, force farms into exploitative contracts, and break the cycle of power between our farms and the corporate food industry.
What We Can achieve...
- A "conserve, preserve, protect" water system that includes more drip irrigation and secure aquifers.
- Bring food packaging back to the valley to create more jobs and save money on transport.
- Investments in greener and clean energy technology such as wind, solar and biomass to strengthen the innovation in the districts farming community.
- Protect our gentile ecosystem from destruction, due in part to overusing harmful pesticides that hurt bees.
- Reform our supply practices to put a focus on community gardens, farmer's markets, and give farmer's more control.