By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor
Former Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley is coming back to Clovis, and he’s bringing the milk mustache with him.
The Clovis native whose experience on dairies came from milking his grandmother’s cow recently accepted a position as director of government and industry relations for Dairy Farmers of America’s Southwest region, which includes New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Bradley said he will be moving to his hometown within a few weeks from Albuquerque, where he works now for DFA after leaving his post with the State Land Office.
The position, he said, is a tremendous opportunity that will allow him to work with federal and state officials on dairy and environmental issues in the Southwest region.
“Got milk? You bet I do. It was just an offer you couldn’t refuse. This opportunity has got my total attention. This is the best of all worlds,” said Bradley, on the job for a week now.
David Jones, CEO of DFA’s Southwest region, said in a DFA press release that he chose the longtime politician for his understanding of government and for his desire to promote the dairy industry.
“His integrity, knowledge and vast experience in state and local government and the private sector will help DFA … dairy farmers in their efforts to educate industry, the government and the surrounding communities about the important contributions that dairy farmers and their operations bring to state and city economies,” Jones said in the release.
Bradley said within the next 18 months there will be a larger amount of milk coming into a 90-mile radius of the Clovis and Portales areas daily.
Besides serving as lieutenant governor under Gov. Gary Johnson, Bradley served as New Mexico state senator from 1988-1992 and chairman of the Curry County Republican Party from 1984-1988.
He lost to John Sanchez in the 2002 Republican primary for governor of New Mexico.
Bradley said this job allows him to stay in the political arena.
“There’s probably not very many people that have any more knowledge of government processes than I do, and that’s an asset to an industry like this that’s growing as fast as it is and has the economic impact that it does,” Bradley said.
“We need to be proud of the dairy industry, and shout our horns from the east side of the state that by gosh this is a viable, great industry to associated with.”