“I put together the Black Farmer Conference. That was my doing, that was my first big assignment that Hightower gave me…. Hightower says “I want the title to be Improving the Future of Texas Black Farmers.” He said we don’t want to rehash the past, we want to talk about how we have helped Black farmers to maintain land, and to give them an opportunity to produce their crops and sell their crops in a more profitable market, as opposed to having to just do truck stands or farmers markets. We want them to be in the whole of agriculture. He was pretty insistent, he said just make it happen.”
Demetrius McDaniel served as a travel aide for Jim Hightower on his first campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture. After the election, he was tasked with organizing the Black Farmer Conferences and running interference at the state legislature. Demetrius had to overcome a great deal of skepticism among black farmers about how much a state agency could do. He recruited speakers such as Mickey Leland and “Mean” Joe Green of the Pittsburgh Steelers to attract farmers” to the first conference, to ensure turnout. Demetrius is now ranked as one of the Top Ten Lobbyists in the Texas Capitol and raises buffalo on his ranch.