Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has selected Robert Rivas of the Salinas Valley to chair the ag committee. Since taking office in 2019, Rivas has pushed through several labor-sponsored bills on farmworkers, with fierce opposition from industry groups. Rivas often ties his policies back to his childhood experiences living in farmworker housing while his grandfather worked the fields.

He replaces Susan Eggman of Stockton, who has reached the end of her term in the Assembly.

“I couldn't ask for a better successor,” she tweeted. “Few legislators have as direct a view into the lives of farmworkers as [Rivas] does. And with the array of crises in front of us, he will be the needed stalwart of the ag community.”

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Eggman is running for her district’s state Senate seat in November. Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, who currently chairs the Senate Ag Committee, is terming out of that seat.

The two ag committees, however, rarely have the opportunity to consider the biggest bills impacting the industry, including Rivas' most controversial ones.