Perry insults farmers

Link to article here.

In a total slap in the face to Texas farmers and ranchers, Rick Perry feigns fond memories of growing up in cotton fields and learning hard work on a farm. Well, that memory is clearly faded and jaded since being parked in the Governor’s mansion. Perry VETOED eminent domain protection for farmers whose land and livelihood are about to be gobbled up by Perry’s legacy-building project, the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC). In the biggest land grab in Texas history, Perry is presiding over and demanding that TxDOT steal 580,000 acres of private property for a pittance in the name of “public use” and hand it over to a foreign corporation for PROFIT! He knows he’s responsible for the policy that will forcibly take these same heritage farmers’ land that has been in their families for 100+ years and give it to a Spanish company. Spare us the platitudes about how you “value” farmers, Governor Perry. We don’t buy it!

Then, Todd Staples isn’t any better. He chaired the committee that voted the Senate version of the TTC bill to the floor for a vote and he voted FOR the TTC in both cases. Then when he ran for Agriculture Commissioner and needed the votes of the farmers and ranchers he betrayed, Staples tried to claim he’s now against it. Convenient!

Gov. Perry Honors Texas Ranchers
NBC News, Dallas/Associated Press
April 8, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Rick Perry praised longtime farm and ranching families Friday as people who feed the world with the work of their hands. “Your land is more than your livelihood, it is your life. And we salute you for your unyielding grip on it,” Perry said in prepared remarks at the Texas Department of Agriculture’s family land heritage ceremony.The tribute honors Texas farms and ranches that have been owned and operated by the same family for a century or more.

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and the Texas Department of Agriculture recognized 102 farms and ranches at the 33rd annual ceremony, held in the Texas House chamber at the Capitol.

“For more than a century these families have made agriculture a way of life, establishing Texas as a nationwide leader in an ever-demanding agricultural industry,” Staples said.

Fourteen farms and ranches were honored for having been in operation at least 150 years. They are located in Burnet, Collin, Colorado, Ellis, Fannin, Jim Hogg, Lampasas, Panola, Parker, Waller, Williamson and Zapata counties.

Perry talked of growing up in the cotton fields of West Texas, where he said he “learned the value of hard work, and earned a master’s degree in patience, waiting for rain that never came exactly when we wanted it.”

Texas has 230,000 farms and ranches covering more than 130 million acres, he said.

Perry said he is perhaps most fond of his time spent in agriculture, as a farmer and as agriculture commissioner.

As commissioner, he said, he always looked forward to the annual family land heritage celebration. Since 1974, the state has honored some 4,300 farms and ranches in 233 counties for maintaining their heritage and agricultural production for 100 years or more.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

One Reply to “Perry insults farmers”

  1. Warren Mayberry

    Facts are Facts

    In a recently posted blog there was a statement that Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples authored the bill that created the Trans-Texas Corridor. This is simply false. House Bill 3588 passed in 2003 is the bill that created what has become the Trans-Texas Corridor. The bill was authored by state Rep. Mike Krusee not then state Senator Staples.

    The following session when the massive effects of the bill became more self evident to Texans, state Sen. Staples coauthored HB 2702. He worked tirelessly with groups such as the Texas Farm Bureau and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers among other agriculture organizations to right some of the wrongs created in HB 3588.

    As a matter of fact, as one of the individuals who worked with Staples on this issue, I can assure you without his help in the Senate we would not have been successful in passing HB 2702 which provided some safeguards such as: local control in toll projects; prohibiting water marketing on TTC projects, limiting the use of ancillary facilities (which threatened to expand the TTC footprint); and loss of access to your private property. Let’s be clear HB 2702 was not perfect. There is still more work to be done on limiting the effects of TTC, but Staples is not the culprit in bringing TTC to Texas.

    It is for his (Staples) tireless efforts and commitment to agriculture that so many agricultural groups were out in front to support his candidacy for Commissioner of Agriculture. He not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Furthermore, for those interested in Todd’s position on the issue of eminent domain they can go to the following website: http://www.txfb.org/NewsManager/templates/txag.asp?articleid=2760&zoneid=63 We would be better served if all our State Officials adopted the same position.

    It is our responsibility as members of the blog community to ensure information we post is accurate and factual. All too often we do not take this responsibility seriously. It is important we take the time to research these issues and provide accurate information within our community.

    Warren Mayberry
    Assoc. Legislative Director
    Texas Farm Bureau

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