view current print edition







Congressman Jimmy Panetta to deliver pep talk to CAD participants

One of the floral industry’s biggest advocates in Congress, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D. CA), will deliver a pep talk to the Society of American Florists’ Congressional Action Days participants before they meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, according to a news release. Rep. Panetta will speak at the Grassroots Breakfast during the 38th annual CAD in Washington, D.C., March 12-13.

PANETTABenno Dobbe of Holland America Bulb Farms, Inc., and SAF Growers Council member Diana Roy of Resendiz Bros. Protea Growers, LLC, met with Rep. Jimmy Panetta at the Cut Flower Caucus Reception during the 2017 Washington, D.C., Fly-In hosted by Certified American Grown.“Congressman Panetta has been an advocate for the agriculture and floral industry since his first day in office,” said SAF Growers Council member Jamie Kitz of Sakata Seed America in Salinas, CA, in the release.

“He is proactive, championing many issues that affect our industry overall and the floral and agriculture businesses on the central California Coast,” Kitz added.

The son of former White House Chief of Staff, CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Jimmy Panetta was sworn in as a member of the 115th Congress on Jan. 3, 2017. SAF supported his 2016 congressional campaign.

“Like his father, Leon Panetta, he’s an advocate for what we grow and what our industry represents to our community and the economy,” said former SAF Growers Council member Janet Louie of California-based Green Valley Floral. “He understands that we produce good jobs, we’re stewards of the environment, and represent a unique piece of the agriculture landscape in our country.”

Panetta represents California’s 20th Congressional District, representing the Central Coast — all of Monterey and San Benito Counties and southern portions of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. His region produces flowers and many other agricultural products.

He is the founder and co-chair of the Agricultural Research Caucus and is the co-chair of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus.

“Every segment of the floral industry will appreciate his passion for our industry, for agriculture and the importance of supporting the roots of what makes the rest of our industry possible — the flowers,” Louie said. “It starts at the farm, which means we need a workable immigration plan and he will help to underline just how important passing comprehensive reform is for everyone involved.”

For more information about CAD, go to