U.S. Representatives Jim Costa (D) of California and Doc Hastings (R) of Washington, co-chairs of the Congressional Specialty Crop Caucus, announced the reorganization of the caucus and membership for the 113th Congress.

The Caucus aims to raise awareness about the issues facing specialty crop growers and processors and advocate for policies that allow producers to continue to provide American families with safe, healthy foods.

Rep. Costa said, “In my home state of California, we produce half the nation’s fruits and vegetables and protecting the industry is critical to the economy of my district. The men and women who grow our specialty crops provide nutritious options for our nation’s families and create thousands of jobs across the country. Building a healthier nation starts with our dinner tables, and these are the healthiest, safest foods in the world.”

Barry Bedwell, California Grape and Tree Fruit League President, added, “The California Grape and Tree Fruit League applauds the efforts of the Specialty Crop Caucus. With approximately one half of the value of all crops grown in the U.S., specialty crops represent not only a very positive impact on jobs and the economy but also a focus on eating more fruits, nuts, and vegetables that will fight obesity and lead to a healthier society.”

Membership in the Specialty Crop Caucus for the 113th Congress includes: Doc Hastings – Washington; Jim Costa – California; Mike Michaud – Maine; Reid Ribble – Wisconsin; Colleen Hanabusa – Hawaii; Jerry McNerney – California; Mike Simpson – Idaho; Greg Walden – Oregon; Mike Thompson – California; Bill Owens - New York; Earl Blumenauer – Oregon; Jeff Denham – California; Kurt Schrader – Oregon; Robert Aderholt – Alabama; Mike McIntyre - North Carolina; Julia Brownley – California; Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Washington; Vern Buchanan – Florida; Tom Rooney – Florida; Dan Benishek – Michigan; Richard Hanna - New York; Brian Higgins - New York; Paul Gosar – Arizona; Juan Vargas – California; Zoe Lofgren – California; Suzanne Bonamici – Oregon; and Jim McGovern – Massachusetts.