Central Valley Rep. TJ Cox and fellow legislators pen letter to ag secretary Sonny Perdue

Central Valley Rep. TJ Cox and fellow legislators pen letter to ag secretary Sonny Perdue

Central Valley Rep. TJ Cox (CA-21) sent a letter, signed by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris and 11 members of the California U.S., House delegation, to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, highlighting the need for strong California representation on any Rural COVID-19 Task Force to evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 to our rural communities and begin identifying solutions to the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

The letter was sent as a follow up to the letter sent earlier this year regarding the creation of a Rural COVID-19 Task Force but stresses the need for California’s representation as to the most significant agricultural producing state in the nation. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of the food and agriculture sector to the health and well-being of rural communities. The long-term impacts of the pandemic will be catastrophic and need to be dealt with immediately. 

Rural communities in California have already incurred significant economic damages resulting from COVID-19, exacerbating old challenges, and creating new ones that need to be better understood.

The Rural COVID-19 Task Force would help identify rural needs and tailor the allocation of available resources to address them. The Task Force would be invaluable to both the Department of Agriculture and Congress as they work together to address the immediate challenges caused by the pandemic, and then craft a pathway towards recovery.  

In the letter, the members wrote: “We agree that listening to rural leaders and citizens about the challenges they face and providing a forum for productive discussion is the only way we can truly deliver tangible solutions for rural communities. That being said, the task force must include representation from across the country, particularly from states such as California, where rural communities are dependent upon a strong agricultural sector.” 

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