Max Woodfin

“The pesticide regulatory program had essentially been toothless by choice. One of the reasons Hightower hired Rick Lowerre was because Rick understood the regulatory world and how to use regulations to fairly enforce the law. TDA didn’t do anything genius-level. We just started enforcing the rules and the laws that were already in place. If a pesticide applicator caused pesticides […]

Paul Lewis

“When I got there, everybody but Jerry Avaya was white. It wasn’t like we said we want people of color. We said we want people with experience, and language ability, and cultural experience from these areas that we’re trying to do exports to. That’s what drove it. It wasn’t like we had a quota or anything.“ Paul Lewis, as Director […]

Karen Haram

“He (Hightower) was such an enthusiastic promoter, and that he did such a good job getting the word out about Texas foods and Texas wines. California was always the end-all, be-all with the whole California food movement. Suddenly, we were doing the same thing here in Texas, with more personality. I think we sold it better, frankly. What I remember […]

Kate Fitzgerald

“(M)y mandate from Hightower…was: “Do something with existing resources within TDA to help create new markets for farmers and at the same time address hunger.” …In the same way that agriculture was becoming concentrated, the grocery store industry was becoming concentrated…The effect it had was the creation of what’s now known as the food desert. (Hightower) saw it as a […]

Martin Burrell

“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 […]