“Initially, the (Texas Agricultural Finance Authority) program funded people who wanted to take ag from production to processing and marketing, from the commodity production side to the processing side. Then we tried to help people who wanted to fund specialty projects that included viticulture, bees and deer and Christmas trees which were also considered to be agricultural diversification. Not 100 percent from corn, cattle and cotton. The program even funded some projects that involved flowers and wine production.”
Dr. Fred Richards was recruited to be one of the initial members of the Texas Agricultural Finance Authority, which the Texas Department of Agriculture passed in 1987 to provide financial assistance for the expansion, development and diversification of production, processing, marketing and exporting of Texas agricultural products. & Applied Economics Association — the organization’s most prestigious honor.