Texas agriculture is as productive as it is because of science, research and technological break-throughs that can be applied in a commercial way, but as advanced as it is, there’s still one area where the industry as a whole is lagging behind. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.
"As the population in rural Texas continues to decline, it is imperative that we use technology to attract people out to rural Texas. You know the strength and diversity of the Texas economy is enormous because of the diversity of our ability to produce."
Todd Staples is the Texas Agriculture Commissioner.
"Because technology and access to markets has become such a big part of what we do, that even though agriculture pumps so much money into our economies, that if we don’t have access to broadband initiatives, to be able to compete in a global market place, we won’t be able to sell and compete and access real time information."
Staples says much of rural Texas is either underserved or totally without internet access.
"We have contracted out with Connected Texas, a not-for-profit organization that will help develop a road map of where we need to be, where are our strengths and where our weaknesses are, and the beauty of this road map is that it will allow private industry, the good old free market economy to come in and determine where are the best markets for us to go into."
Staples maintains that as urban Texans find out more about what rural Texas has to offer, they will come.
"We want to use things like our Go Texan Wildlife initiative to add value to rural landowners, as they try to promote hunting and fishing along with production agriculture. We’re using things like our Go Texan Restaurant Round-up to match up local producers with local restaurants, so that Texans can experience the best of what our state has to offer, literally right in their backyard."
I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley Agriculture, From The Ground Up.