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Rep. Garamendi’s Statement on the Passing of Richard Rominger

December 22, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) issued the following statement on the passing of Richard Rominger:

Patti and I are deeply saddened by Richard Romingers passing, and our hearts are with Evelyn and their family during this difficult time,” Garamendi said. “I called Rich’s cell phone this morning. He did not answer. I’ve called that number hundreds of times seeking advice and counsel, and I have always come away from the conversation with a gem of wisdom, a better solution to a problem, encouragement, and a precious gift of friendship. Not this time. My call was answered by his son confirming Richard Rominger’s death. I’ll keep Rich’s number. He won’t answer, but just calling will encourage me to stay true to the lessons he taught me. I know that Rich treated everyone with the same respect and desire to help. Perhaps they will keep that number, too.”

Richard and Evelyn Rominger served in President Bill Clintons administration with Patti and John Garamendi. Richard was Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Patti ran the Foreign Agriculture Service’s food and famine programs. Richard was always the bulwark of support for the American family farmer. He knew the challenges facing farm families and he knew how to use government to improve their lot. During the Clinton years the Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior, where Rep. Garamendi was also Deputy, teamed up to produce seminal studies on the effects of  Climate Change, create the first Tahoe Summit, address droughts, support land conservation efforts nationwide, attack invasive species, and protect America’s great forest. 

Governor Jerry Brown recognized Richard’s potential as a problem solver when he appointed Richard to serve as the Secretary of the California Department of Agriculture.  A problem-solver was necessary with Medflies, drought, water wars, and agricultural labor problems in abundance. Undaunted by these challenges, Rominger steered a wise course that yielded a bumper crop of solutions.

Following his time in government, Richard returned to Winters—where he was raised—to continue his work supporting the U.S. agriculture industry. Richard was named Agriculturalist of the Year by the California State Fair and received a Distinguished Service Award from the California Farm Bureau Federation for his lifelong commitment to the agricultural community.

Richard was a dear friend for whom I have the deepest respect and admiration. His lifes work has had an indelible positive impact on our state and nation, and he will be deeply missed. Patti and I send our condolences to Evelyn and the Rominger family,” Garamendi concluded.