Representative Josh Harder on Monday announced he had invited John Casazza, a walnut farmer from Hughson and lifelong Republican, to be his guest at the scheduled State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
“For decades, John and his business have created local jobs and boosted the Central Valley economy, while also connecting the goods we grow here at home to markets around the world,” said Harder. “Party affiliation doesn’t matter when you’re trying to make ends meet, and folks like John have made clear that both sides need to work together in a practical way to solve the urgent problems of the Central Valley – including providing tariff relief for farmers, managing our region’s water supply, and making sure job creators in our rural communities can partake in a healthy economy.”
“The Central Valley has been my home my whole life – and it’s been home to my family, friends, and our great business,” said Casazza. “I appreciate the opportunity to join Rep. Harder to show that we in the Valley can put politics aside and focus on what matters.”
Casazza founded Mid Valley Nut with his father-in-law in 1970 and represents how businesses in the Central Valley can thrive. Mid Valley Nut has grown into a successful company that exports walnuts to customers across the globe. Casazza has also been instrumental in developing the market for walnuts abroad in countries like China, but recent Chinese tariffs are significantly hurting his business due to the lowered demand.
Walnuts grown in Stanislaus County brought in more than $100 million for farmers from their 2017 harvest. As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Harder has made strengthening infrastructure and opportunity for Central Valley farmers one of his top priorities. He represents the 10th Congressional District, which includes portions of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.