“His (Jim Hightower’s) initiatives about working with small and minority businesses. That was one of the things that I learned from him, and I was able to use that. I’ve been using that, essentially built a career around strengthening the environment with women and minority business because his initiative was whenever we spend money, look for opportunities to do business with small and minority firms. To this day, that’s what I do…Those two initiatives came directly from the leadership that he created with this emphasis on small minority business…The first contract that went to a minority firm to run the State Fair for two years went to two African American women because he insisted on inclusion of these small businesses. That’s what I remember most.”
Martin Burrell joined the Texas Department of Agriculture as the Dallas District Director. He supervised the regulatory and marketing staff working out of the Dallas office, and was responsible for weights and measures enforcement , ensuring that consumers received accurate measures of items such as gasoline at the pump, food on scales in grocery stores, grain in elevators, and egg size and quality. Martin also was responsible for implementing Hightower’s policy that everybody should be a part of spending the state’s money, through inclusion and diversity initiatives for minority, women and small business owners.