For several years now, when the Texas legislature is in session, the board of directors from Producers Cooperative has gone to Austin for a day to meet with state senators, representatives, and other elected officials to try and stay abreast of anything our state government is doing that might effect agriculture. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.
"As our state’s population grows, we have to continue to remind all Texans that the cornerstone of our society is based on the rights to use and own property, and that property owners’ rights need to be at the forefront of any discussion and not the end."
Ag Commissioner Todd Staples is worried about government regulations at all levels.
"We know that on the federal level that ag policy is being called into question and that we’re probably going to see changes in a few years, no matter who’s in office, because of just the general lack of understanding about agriculture’s role and its impact on our economy."
The Texas Ag Council is a group of ag organizations that meet once a week to track bills while the legislature is in session that could impact Texas Agriculture.
"There are issues that seem to come up every session that’s being driven by urban concerns, and they simply don’t understand how their solutions to their problems effect agriculture, and so a big part of our job is to educate legislators and their staff about how what they’re wanting to do to help their constituents in the urban areas will actually have a negative effect on agriculture."
Bllly Howe is with the Texas Farm Bureau.
"Ag Council is probably currently tracking along the lines of at least 2000 bills that we think in some way impact agriculture. Of course in this session there were over 7000 bills filed in total."
Commissioner Staples emphasizes continuing education for consumers.
"We don’t like being dependent on foreign oil. We certainly don’t want to be dependent on foreign food, and we have to tell that story. When I talk to kids at high schools I have to remind them that chicken doesn’t come skinless and boneless, and ready for the microwave."
I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.