Pete McRae (D)

“In 1985 is when the entire ag industry, business leaders decided to come after Hightower and attempt to defund the agency in various components. Those guys hated (John) Vlcek and hated the marketing program. They just thought we were nuts and that Hightower was nuts by focusing on small farmers, which of course was exactly what Farmers Union wanted. Vlcek […]

Mack Martinez

“I think Hightower has pushed and has made some headway, it’s an ‘us’ issue. Until we’ve all crossed that line, until we’re all equal, ain’t none of us equal. I think that came across, and that’s why he was respected by African American leaders and by Hispanic leaders. It wasn’t an accident that John Vlcek also happened to be gay. […]

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 […]