John van Dongen was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries on June 5, 2001 .
Mr. van Dongen previously served as agriculture and fisheries critic for the Official Opposition. He sat on the Select Standing Committees on Agriculture and Fisheries and on Crown Corporations, as well as the Official Opposition Caucus Committee on Children.
He was first elected in 1995 in a by-election to represent the riding of Abbotsford and was re-elected in 1996. He was elected to the Abbotsford-Clayburn riding in 2001.
Before his election to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. van Dongen operated a dairy farm in Abbotsford. He studied agricultural economics at the University of British Columbia .
Mr. van Dongen was involved in farm organizations and businesses for almost two decades. He was on the board of directors of the B.C. Dairy Foundation, Agrifoods International Co-operative (Dairyland) and the B.C. Federation of Dairymen's Association and was a member of the Federal Farm Debt Review Board.
He was also chair of the building and finance committee of St. Joseph 's Church in Mission .
John van Dongen is married, lives in Abbotsford and has two children.