Nov. 7, 2012 – 1:34 a.m.

113th Congress: David Valadao, R-Calif. (21st District)

A lifelong dairy farmer, David Valadao campaigned on his hometown connections, including his involvement with Central Valley agriculture groups.

Valadao grew up working on the farm his parents established in Hanford after they emigrated from Portugal’s Azores islands in 1969. He is now a managing partner, working with his brothers to run what has grown into two separate dairies and more than 1,000 acres of farmland used to grow feedstock, including corn, alfalfa and wheat.

In just his first term in the California Assembly, Valadao rose to vice chairman of the Agriculture Committee while serving on two other panels: Utilities and Commerce and Budget. During those two years, he opposed a project to build a high-speed rail system, calling it poorly managed and rushed. He has said he will move to cut federal funding for that project in Congress.

Valadao joined Republicans to support overhauling California’s public pension program. And he sponsored unsuccessful legislation to end state funding for ethanol. Blaming unions and special interests for blocking that bill, Valadao says “this is not over — corn ethanol is bad public policy.”

Valadao has touted his business background, including serving in leadership roles within the California Milk Advisory Board and the Western States Dairy Trade Association and being elected Regional Leadership Council chairman for Land O’Lakes Inc.