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July 10, 2000     (512) 463-0300

Joint Agriculture Policy Committee Examines Threats to the State Agriculture

AUSTIN - The Joint Agriculture Policy Committee held a public hearing on Monday, July 10th, 2000, at the State Capitol. The legislative committee is made up of members of the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives.

The charge given to the committee is to develop a sound agricultural policy for Texas in the 21st Century by comprehensively studying the condition of agriculture, the state's current programs in support of agriculture, and the role of the state in preserving the agriculture industry. The committee shall work closely with the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas State Comptroller, the Texas Department of Economic Development, and other agencies and institutions of higher education, as determined by the president of the Senate, and the speaker of the House of Representatives.

Invited testimony was provided by Ross Wilson from the Texas Cattle Feeder's Association, Dr. Max Coats from the Texas Animal Health Commission, Ben Boerner from the Texas Grain and Feed Association, Tony Williams from the Texas Cotton Ginner's Association, and Julie Shackelford from the American Farmland Trust. They discussed present threats to agriculture like pesticide resistance, ticks infestation, boll weevil control and eradication, and transportation problems like unsafe bridges.

The committee is co-chaired by Senator Tom Haywood of Wichita Falls and Representative David Swinford of Amarillo. Senate members include Ken Armbrister of Victoria, Teel Bivins of Amarillo and Steve Ogden of Bryan. House members include Representative Robert "Robby" Cook of Eagle Lake, Jim McReynolds of Lufkin and Bob Tuner of Coleman.

The committee stands recessed subject to the call of the chair.

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