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Name: Hoppin, Charles
Current Position: Former Board Chairman

The former chairman of the five-person board, Charles R. Hoppin, has been a farmer since 1969, growing rice, field corn, melons, walnuts, safflower, and wheat on his family’s 2,000 acres in Yolo and Sutter counties. He is a graduate of Woodland High School and California State University, Chico (1966). In 1997, Hoppin served in Governor Pete Wilson’s administration as an advisor during the California Flood Recovery Effort.  He was also board member of Sutter Mutual Water Company from 2000 to 2002, and a member of the state Board of Food and Agriculture from 2002 to 2006.

Hoppin joined the Water Resources Board in 2006 and was appointed its chairman in March 2009 by Governor Schwarzenegger. He is the first farmer to hold the position. His selection was welcomed by fellow farmers, who considered his choice a hard fought victory for the agricultural industry. Hoppin echoes their frustration with requirements of the federal Endangered Species Act, which he feels are unreasonable but that the board is obligated to meet.  Much of that antagonism revolves around the endangered Delta smelt, which he calls a “very vulnerable” species. He believes the smelt and other endangered or threatened Delta fish should be managed as a total species package rather than individual fish.

Public records under the name Charles R. Hoppin show donations of $4,750 to political candidates since 1996, of which $3,500 went to Republicans and $1,250 to Democrats.

Hoppin is vice chairman of the Farmer’s Rice Cooperative, and serves on the board of several other industry associations. He put his expertise with rice to good use in 2008 when he bested two legislators to win the Capitol Roller award as the top legislative sushi-maker in Sacramento, defeating Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Assemblyman Rick Keene. His prize at the California Rice Commission Circle of Life Luncheon was a samurai sword.


Board Members (Official board website)

California Water Crisis Continues (Western Farm Press)

Alumnus Biography (California State University, Chico)

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