Florida growers and ranchers not only feed our families, but are also a critical part of our local and national economy. The role growers play in our community and daily lives is invaluable, and I have made the priorities of the South Dade agriculture community a major focus of my work in Congress.
During my time in the House I have secured financial relief for local farmers aggrieved by the Oriental Fruit Fly quarantine and heavy rains of 2015. As Chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade, I focused my efforts on bringing national attention to issues important to South Florida growers, such as the classification of farm sizes as small businesses to make them eligible for additional loans. Additionally, as South Florida’s only representative on the Ways and Means Committee, which oversees trade policy, I’ve advocated tirelessly for the needs of specialty growers during the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
I’ve also worked toward reforming our inadequate H2A temporary guest work visa program. It is imperative that the law allows for a reliable, safe, and transparent visa program to ensure a strong agricultural workforce in communities across the country.