FAIRFIELD — Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, received the USA Rice Federation’s first Friend of the U.S. Rice Industry Award during the organization’s annual Government Affairs Conference this week.
Garamendi is a rancher and pear farmer and a member of the House Agriculture Committee.
U.S. farmers each year produce about 10 million tons of rice, half of which is exported, according to a press release to announce the award. Meanwhile, 85 percent of the rice consumed in this country is grown here. The industry supports more than 125,000 U.S. jobs and contributes more than $34 billion to the economy, according to the release.
Garamendi represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Solano County. The county’s 2012 gross value for all agricultural commodities was just shy of $343.7 million. Rice is not listed in the annual crop report as among the county’s crops. The 2013 crop report has not yet been released.
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