U.S. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) announced that California's 3rd U.S. House District Representative, John Garamendi, will be one of 21 Democratic members to serve on the panel for the 113th Congress. Garamendi served on the committee during the final months of the previous Congress. The third congressional district is home to a wide variety of crops and commodities, including rice.

"I will be a champion for California's agricultural economy," Garamendi said. "Our farmers work hard and deserve a representative who rolls up his sleeves and gets to work for them." Among his highest priorities "are promoting regional agricultural commerce and research, including our robust rice industry," and investing in conservation programs. Garamendi also serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure and the Armed Services committees, but sought and obtained a waiver to serve on the Agriculture Committee.

USA Rice Federation briefed Garamendi and other federal lawmakers about its legislative and regulatory priorities last week during the 2013 Government Affairs Conference.