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Agriculture

Congressman Gonzalez is proud to represent a thriving agricultural community of more than 8,000 farms totaling upwards of 4,303,286 acres. The 15th District of Texas is home to a diverse array of produce, specialty crop, and livestock operations. The district is known for its citrus, cotton, sugarcane, sorghum, and cattle ranching operations.  

Congressman Gonzalez has a proven record of supporting research, pest management, trade assistance, and other federal programs that give farmers and ranchers the resources they need to have a productive business.

The congressman understands the importance of protecting the safety net and is dedicated to elevating the concerns and priorities of South Texas agriculture producers in Washington, D.C. Congressman Gonzalez supports increasing market access for all American agricultural products and efforts to strengthen the farm economy and provide regulatory certainty to agriculture producers. 

 Recently, alongside Congressmen Filemon Vela and Henry Cuellar, Congressman Gonzalez helped secure $59 billion in federal funding for citrus research in the Rio Grande Valley, a huge advancement for the area’s citrus farmers.

Congressman Gonzalez also joined colleagues from across the country to request an additional $2.5 million in federal funding for research on the sugarcane aphid, a pest that poses a threat to sorghum in South Texas and across the country

More on Agriculture

March 30, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Thomas Vilsack approved a Secretarial disaster area designation for drought for the following counties in the 15th District of Texas: Karnes, Live Oak primary; and contiguous, Brooks, Duval, Wilson. With this designation, those affected by recent drought are qualified to be considered for Farm Service Agency (FSA) assistance, including loans.

March 4, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack approved a secretarial disaster area designation on March 1, 2021 for the following counties in the 15th District of Texas: Hidalgo and Duval, primary; and contiguous, Brooks, Jim Hogg, and Live Oak. With this designation, those affected by the recent winter weather are qualified to be considered for Farm Service Agency (FSA) assistance, including loans.

 

February 26, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) and Tony Gonzales (TX-23) sent a bipartisan letter to the newly confirmed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Tom Vilsack urgently requesting the approval of a secretarial disaster designation in counties affected by the winter weather disaster in Texas. Texas farmers and ranchers face unprecedented damage and loss as a result of the winter storm. 

In addition to the secretarial disaster designation, the Members of Congress asked for the appraisal and resumption of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

April 17, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced new measures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to help rural residents, businesses and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I urge those who need help from the USDA to take full advantage of these tools,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “Those who need help with applying or navigating these new measures should contact my office for help.”

April 2, 2020 Press Release

MCALLEN, Texas – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) praised farmers, ranchers, farmworkers, packers, shippers, and all those across our food supply chain for their efforts to keep our nation fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This group of people are considered essential in the country’s workforce. If they want to work and are healthy to do so, then they can work and are allowed to travel to work during this difficulty time for our country with some areas of the United States calling for a shelter-in-place order:

March 25, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced that Hidalgo and Brooks Counties were designated as primary disaster counties and Duval, Jim Hogg, Live Oak were designated as contiguous disaster counties by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue qualifying them for federal assistance.

March 12, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pushed back its deadline for the ReConnect Pilot Program to March 31. The ReConnect Pilot Program seeks to give grants and loans to provide funds for the cost of infrastructure associated with rural broadband.

“With the extension from the USDA for the ReConnect Pilot Program, I encourage those in the 15th District of Texas to continue to apply,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “My office is here to assist any who may need assistance with this application.”

March 4, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) and Filemon Vela (TX-34) introduced H.R. 5898, the Promoting Agricultural Commerce Act, legislation to more efficiently transport high volumes of South Texas agricultural products across the Rio Grande Valley.

February 13, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) announced that Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, and Brooks Counties were designated as contiguous disaster counties by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue qualifying them for federal assistance.

December 11, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) voted in favor of H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019. This bipartisan bill provides reforms that will overhaul the farmworker visa program, improve agricultural labor standards, and help American farmers compete in global markets.