Presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his Farmers and Ranchers for Romney coalition Wednesday naming Tom Nassif, President and CEO of Western Growers, one of six national chairs of the coalition.

“I’m honored to have so many farmers and ranchers standing with my campaign,” Mitt Romney said. “They are the backbone of America and play a critical role in ensuring Americans across the country have access to safe and affordable food. The fruit of their labor nourishes the world, and I admire their hard work in harvesting our country’s bountiful resources. Our farmers and ranchers also have a critical role in the health of our economy, employing millions of Americans.  I’m grateful to have their support in my efforts to turn around the economy and strengthen the middle class.” 

Nassif joins Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, former USDA secretary Sen. Mike Johanns (NE), and former USDA Acting/Deputy Secretary Charles Conner as a national chair of the coalition.

“Farmers need a business-friendly federal government and also one that will take concrete steps to tackle immigration reform, “Nassif said.  “I can confidently tell you that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan support having a legal and sufficient supply of labor that will ensure the continued domestic production of fresh produce and other farm commodities in the U.S.  They understand our need for a new and better guest worker program and have a high regard for private enterprise, less regulatory red tape and relief from the income, estate and capital gains tax burdens that threatens successful, hard-working people and businesses.  These are the principles that lead to job creation and economic growth.”

The Western Growers Board of Directors endorsed Romney for President at its July meeting in Irvine, Calif.

(For more, see: Romney gets nod from Western Growers)