With only about two per cent of our country’s population involved in production agriculture, it’s no surprise that the industry continues to fear new laws and regulations at both the state at both on the state and federal levels that could negatively impact their future. Recent legislative maneuvers in Washington have certainly garnered the attention Texas agricultural producers. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.
"Agriculture is extremely important for the state of Texas, our second largest industry, represents about 110 billion dollars in revenue each year."
Some of our elected officials in Texas are worried about legislation that being discussed in the United States Congress.
"We seem to have policies coming from Washington that threaten the very ability to provide the safest, the most affordable, the most reliable food supply in the world."
Ag commissioner Todd Staples cited a study that said cap and trade legislation would take 59 million acres out of agricultural production.
"I think it’s rightly named cap and trade because if it passes, it’s going to cap economic activity, it’s going to cap productivity, and it’s going to trade American jobs overseas."
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst pointed out that even here in Texas, rural areas are losing representation.
"The legislature is becoming less and less rural each year. Each year we’ve got more and more representatives from urban areas."
"I certainly don’t want to be become dependent on foreign food, and we have to guard against legislation that either through lack of information or through wanting to have a different philosophy for our country is threatening our farmers and ranchers and their future."
Staples also referred to federal legislation designed to expand the Clean Water Act’s authority.
"They would be able to go in on your farm or ranch and have a say in what goes in the water in your stock tank. That is not the proper role of federal government. No one is a better environmental steward than the farmers and ranchers because they know and understand that the land has to be cared for in order for it to care for their economic future."
I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley Agriculture, From The Ground Up.