The California sate capitol building is seen in Sacramento. Credit: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Robert Rivas was talking as fast as he could, which is really quite fast. The California Assemblyman (D-Hollister) had spent 80 percent of his day fielding calls and at 4 p.m. he was still at it. "I’m very excited," Rivas, a statehouse freshman, gushed. "Very, very excited. We have this amazing opportunity to just do so much and there’s so much to do." Rivas, 40, was raised in farmworker housing in the Central Coast district he represents. Now, he is Sacramento’s hot commodity as the new chair of the California Assembly Agriculture Committee. The position puts him in the power seat overseeing the state’s $50 billion agricultural economy, an engine that powers the fifth largest economy in the world. What happens in California does not stay in California, which grows two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts and over a third of its vegetables. It is also the number one dairy state. Not to mention it also helps feed the world. Rivas plans a statewide tour of farm country next month that will help set legislative priorities. He will need to consider […]


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