Texas Agriculture Needs You!

Texas is one of the largest agricultural and ranching states in the nation, leading the U.S. in beef and cotton production and with a diverse range of livestock and crops such as, corn, wheat, sorghum, rice, peanuts, pecans, grapes, watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches, strawberries, and more. Texas’s 249,000 farms and ranches directly generate $25 billion into our Texas economy while the state’s entire food and fiber system generates almost $160 billion, making agriculture our state’s 2nd largest economic driver—just behind the oil and gas industry which is increasingly coming under attack from the Biden Administration and environmental extremists.

Agriculture is the lifeblood of our great state and helps define Texas, its people, and our shared heritage. Sadly, our agriculture industry is also under attack. As Texas becomes increasingly urbanized, we see too many local officials, lacking understanding of the agriculture industry, who prioritize tax revenue over our agricultural needs. Texas has seen municipalities enact ordinances and zoning restrictions that limit or even prohibit the use of undeveloped land for agricultural purposes making it harder and harder to find suitable land for farming and ranching operations.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, born in Texas, famously said, “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” President Eisenhower was right. Unless you personally know the joys and discomforts of agriculture, it is difficult for bureaucrats to understand how their “good intentions” may make it more difficult for Texas to maintain its robust agriculture production which helps feed and clothe the world.

That’s why I am working in concert with the Texas Farm Bureau in urging my Northeast Texas friends and neighbors to join me in supporting Proposition One, the so-called “Right to Farm and Ranch Amendment,” on the November 7, 2023, General Election ballot.

If passed, Proposition One will protect the rights of landowners and lessees to engage in commonly accepted agricultural practices on their own properties. Proposition One preserves Texans’ access to safe and affordable food for the future by protecting our producers and our state’s agricultural land. If defeated, just like a similar measure in Oklahoma was in 2016, with opposition coming from radical, well-funded animal rights extremists, Texas could very well lose its place as an agriculture leader, suitable farm and ranch land could be lost forever, food supplies could become expensive and scarce, and Texas could go from being an agriculture exporter to an importer. The stakes are incredibly high. Because Houston, our state’s largest city, will also have a hotly contested mayoral race on the November 7th ballot, turnout there will be exceptionally high. That means a strong turnout from agriculture-friendly Northeast Texas will be even more imperative to protect Texas farmers, ranchers, and consumers.

My friend, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller, likes to remind his fellow Texans that three times a day, every day, for the rest of our lives, we are going to need a farmer or rancher. On November 7th, Texans will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enshrine in our Texas Constitution the right to farm, ranch, and harvest the food and fiber that feeds and clothes Texas and the world.

Early voting will begin on October 23rd and will continue through November 3rd, giving you ample time to make your voice heard, to protect Texas Agriculture for future generations, and to remind our fellow Texans that Texas Agriculture matters.