From the Ground Up: Texas Ag Commissioner Rallies Producers

Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples was on the Texas A&M campus this week speaking to Farmers Fight, a student led movement that promotes agriculture.

Staples stressed that for agriculture’s story to be told properly, the people doing the story telling needed to be those involved in production agriculture.

“We also have to remember, while we’re busy producing that we all have a boss, and I’m not talking about our spouse, and the boss is our consumers. The consumers are the ones that drive the message in term of public policy today, who gets water, what kind of environmental policies we’re going to have, and these public policy issues have consequences.”

Todd Staples in the Texas Agriculture Commissioner and says that agriculture today more than ever is competing on a global stage.

“In 1980, we imported about 13% of our fresh fruits and vegetables, as a nation. Today we import about 34% of our fresh fruit and vegetables. We need to be telling our story. If you’re involved in production agriculture, you’re involved in politics. If you’re involved in production agriculture, you’re involved as an ambassador, to tell the story of how difficult it is, how thin the profit margins are.”

Staples stressed that agricultural producers must be involved in educating consumers about how their food and fiber is produced.

“We have to fight weather. We have to fight international and protectionist trade policies. We have to fight our federal government every day, to do what farmers and ranchers do. We need more people telling that story, because there is a misconception that chicken comes boneless and skinless and ready for the microwave and beef patties are frozen and prepackaged and ready to put in between two buns, and those in agriculture know it’s a difficult process and we have to be advocates for agriculture. We have to be ambassadors for agriculture, and tell the best story that’s ever been told.”

I’m Kailey Carey, tracing the path our food and fiber makes to our homes, From The Ground Up.