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Congressman Mike Thompson on Agriculture and Working Across the Aisle and the Farm Bureau Endorsement

Congressman Mike Thompson was in Benicia on Monday October 15 to meet Benicia voters and answer questions voters might have for him.

During a recent meet and greet event on Monday, October 15 at the Benicia Veterans Memorial Hall, Congressman Mike Thompson described how the diversity of the country – both physical and political – creates challenges for legislators trying to get laws passed.

The district Thomspon hopes to represent in congress, the newly drawn California Congressional District 5 is heavily invested in agriculture, an industry that in one way or another is found in every state in the nation.

Benicia Patch asked Thompson if the subject of agriculture creates opportunities to work with lawmakers from across the aisle.

“Agriculture in California is marketed differently than the rest of the United States, especially in the new district,” said Thompson.  “In the new district there’s some cattle and some sheep, but it’s predominantly grapes and that’s a specialty crop and specialty crops are treated differently than commodity crops.”

Thompson is quick to point out that one of his first moves when he arrived on Capitol Hill was to start the Congressional Wine Caucus, now the second largest caucus on the hill behind the Sportsmen’s Caucus.

“I try to incorporate other agriculture and other issues that are important to wine,” said Thompson. “Organic agriculture is really growing across the country and I’ve done events with them, so you kind of bring in all the guys who are doing organic agriculture.”

Thompson's campaign sent out a release announcing he has received the endorsement of the California Farm Bureau. 

In the release California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger noted that Thompson has championed estate tax reform intended to make it easier to transfer family farms and ranches from one generation to the next.

“Mike has earned a reputation in Congress for working with members of both parties to solve problems,” Wenger said in the release. “His willingness to cross the aisle to get things done, and his experience as a small vineyard owner, make him even more effective in working for family farmersand ranchers.”

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