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 […]

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 […]

Nora Linares-Moeller

“He (Hightower) really was the kind of leader that depended on a bunch of people. He hired the right kind of people to do the right kind of work, and he was the titular head. A great person to really get the word out to everybody, but he really didn’t get into the weeds of things. He’s great on the […]

Jim Harrington

“Hightower’s tenure is certainly a meteor compared for the farmworkers compared to what it was and what it is now. It’s still it’s not as bad now as it was before. And that is because, I think, Hightower brought it along. You get to a place you can’t retrench too much. And I think that’s where it is. I’m not […]

Mike Moeller

“When Hightower comes around, and they’re starting to put emphasis on organics, that was an attraction. By the time I got there, I was already working on farm worker issues and it was obvious pesticide protection was going to be a major thing that we would have to fight for, all the way until Rick Perry came along. I definitely […]

Keith Jones

“I had been a part of the mid ‘80s farm crisis; had moved to Dallas and had gone to work for a bank in Dallas and was really needing to get back into agriculture some way…. I came on board (at TDA) in ‘88 and Hightower had this conference on organic and sustainable agriculture in March of 1989. He was […]

Rebecca Flores

“In July of 1988, Cesar (Chavez) started a fast, and he call it the Fast for Life. And this was really around the issue of pesticides, because he had seen that even though we’d been talking about it and we knew there were cancer clusters and we knew children were dying at a very, very young age. They’re like 10,11 […]

Pesticides are Hell on Bugs and Not Much Better on People

Pesticides are Hell on Bugs and Not Much Better on People

People’s History in Texas is in the middle of a in-depth project collecting oral history and archives on the Jim Hightower tenure as Commissioner of Texas Department of Agriculture from 1983-1991.  In those eight years, an amazing legacy of support for family farmers and sustainable rural agriculture was implemented.  That legacy of positive programs is still making its impact on […]