Dan Kelly

“I laid out the results of the (Organic) task force’s work. I ended by saying something to the effect, ‘This looks doable. Let’s adopt these standards by regulation.’ This was a novel idea. Rick Lowerre (Deputy Director of Regulatory) sort of gulped and said, ‘Can we do that?’ I had read TDA’s statute and said, ‘Yes, we can.’ Nobody in […]

Susan Raleigh Kaderka

“(A) lot of the marketing juice behind organic agriculture did have a food safety tone to it and so people would think, ‘Well, if I buy organic and it won’t have pesticides on it, that will be safer for me’, which was true. But the organic growers themselves, that movement was much much more interested in soil health and just […]

Dennis Holbrook

“I was approached by representatives from Texas Tech University, asking to allow my employees to participated in a blind study of agricultural workers. They were testing for pesticide residues, and they were not having a great deal of success or luck in getting participation from a lot of the farmers here. But I told them, ‘Look, I’ll participate in the […]

Kimberly Ratcliff

“The meat company started with a set up at a farmers market, then I added a website. Now I’m selling all my meats, I have contracts, huge contracts, the Houston Food Bank. I have a contract in Washington DC. I literally just got off the phone call before here with a major restaurant chain that I’m possibly going to sell […]

Vaughn Cox

“I would go out, wherever there was a group of farmers, … Talk to them. Explain the Right-to-Know law. Here it is. We’re tasked with enforcement. First, we educate you and tell you what you need to do. We will work with you to help you get that set up, and if you refused, then you’ll get some fines. By […]

Angela Lamb

“I’d like to offer you a piece of information that we’ve gathered in a survey. It’s how the citizens of this area feel about waste being brought into the area. And I would like to congratulate you because in the last two years you have discovered that this is the number one agricultural county in the state of Texas, which […]

Freddie Richards

“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 […]

Alfred L. Parks

“We had a guy that came in from the Dallas area. He had no farming background, but he had married into a family that’s local here… “My family has land not far from Prairie View, and we want to get into watermelons.” He created a supply chain. What he had done was go out and develop some markets with Luby’s. […]

Jesse Oliver

“(O)ne of my first formal relationships with agriculture was at the Black Farmers Conferences and getting some history of what was going on with them and what had transpired…The few who held on, who actually worked the land and stayed there, were still facing difficult times, mistreatment by USDA, especially with respect to support farm loans, crop loans, crop insurance, […]

Barbara Meister

“It’s Hightower’s philosophy, go out and scour the countryside, find these folks who are doing these innovative things and bring them into the government structure.Give them a computer, give them a secretary, give them a travel budget, and say, keep doing what you’re doing. But do it in here, do it throughout the whole state. I remember that being a […]