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 […]

Sandra Tenorio

“Some of my first meetings as director (of TDA’s Right to Know Program), imagine this room: Rebecca Harrington from the United Farmworkers, Jon Fisher from the Chemical Council, somebody from the Farm Bureau, somebody from the Farmers Union and then we had somebody from Legal Aid. Those were the five entities that were in the room to negotiate the regulations […]

Mariann Wizard-Garcia

“It (Project Tejas) was NOT a Jim Hightower aggrandizement project. It was all Texans were coming together in a non-partisan way. Smart. I’m sure we got a lot better cooperation because of that…It would be more in the line of questions, Don’t you think we should be helping American farmers? Well, buying farmers’ grain and milk and stuff is obviously […]

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 […]

Paula de la Fuente

“I feel like the work we did at TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture) during the Hightower years was very heart-based. Really, truly, you have to have a heart, you have to have a conscience, in order to care about Mother Earth, sustainable living and care about the children that are exposed to pesticides, proper nutrition and all those things. We […]

Leroy Biggers

“I told John (Vlcek), ‘I’d like to put up a market here in Tyler’… So we had a meeting and we had about 15 to 16 producers in East Texas to show up for the meeting and explain to them what we was trying to do. But then I went on the Horace McQueen Show and advertised it and promoted […]

Mike Nassour

“I want to credit Jim Hightower’s cantankerousness, and just by God bullheadedness with raising awareness in this state that people are hurt by pesticides. They are. Just because you can buy something at Lowe’s or Home Depot doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to spray it on your face. I think people get that now because of the work he […]

Hightower and the Business of Organics in Texas

In this Substack, we continue to tell the forgotten story of Hightower and the Texas Department of Agriculture in the 1980s. One of the forgotten stories that should be remembered is the role Texas played in the Organic Food Industry. Texas was the first state to create a certifiable Organic label.  A certifiable label was essential to the expansion of […]

Cather Woods

“Jim Hightower was one of the best things for Texas in my experience, in my lifetime, and I’m 78 years old. So, I started working with farmers during that era. He was really nice. He worked hard to make sure that he made it better for blacks. By making sure that you knew what was there, by reaching out to […]

Ellen Widess

“One of the provisions they (the Trump-era EPA) wanted to get rid of was the farmworkers’ right to have their doctors, or any other advocate, a lawyer, priest, worker center, anybody, union, get access to their pesticide safety sheets to know what they were exposed to, what the risks were and to be able to go after the company and […]