Central Valley congressman names ag advisory panel
April 13, 2007
• Almonds, wine, dairy represented
• ‘We need to do more for California agriculture’
A 14-member agriculture advisory board has been named by U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, to advise him on issues facing the Central Valley farming industry.
The group includes local producers and experts including growers, dairymen, and farm bureau representatives.
"Whether they're from the Central Valley or the Tri-Valley, I've heard from people all over who say we need to do more for California agriculture, and I couldn't agree more," says Mr. McNerney in written comments.
"We have grape growers in Lodi, cattle ranchers in Linden, and almond producers in Manteca, and they all need to have input in federal programs, that's what I will be able to provide with the agriculture advisory board," he says.
The members of the board are:
• Tim Koopman, Sunol Valley rancher
• Jeff Colombini, Lodi Farming Inc., Lodi
• Dennis Gogna, O.G. Packing, Stockton
• Kenny Watkins, California Farm Bureau Federation
• Frank Faria, dairyman, Escalon
• Mike Robinson, farmer/feed store owner, San Joaquin Delta islands
• John Fugazi, orchard owner/row crop grower, Linden
• William "Bud" Bensley, Ag. Credit
• David Phippen, almond grower, Manteca
• Tom Burlando, Diamond Walnut, Linden
• Bruce Fry, Mohr-Fry Ranches, Lodi
• Gina Hultquist, U.S. Ag Bank
• Ricky Zolezzi, peach and cherry grower, Linden
• Thomas Guido, Triple-E Produce, Stockton
Mr. McNerney says he plans to meet with members of the board several times throughout the year and will call upon board members on a more frequent and informal basis as issues and legislation arise in Congress.