Tonya Kleuskens

The Department of Energy was looking at Deaf Smith County and also Swisher County, Texas at that time. So, we were just paying attention, listening with friends. But, I began to hear a lot of helplessness from people in the area, saying that there was nothing they could do about a federal project—that the property was going to be taken […]

Gary Keith

“I wrote an op ed piece for Hightower on farm policy. And you never wrote something for Hightower that he just took and put out with his name on it. I can still see him standing at his desk with that black pen.. For the next two years I directed the nuclear waste studies project… I was back and forth […]

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 […]

Richard Croxdale

“(N)othing much happened in Texas until Jim Hightower was elected in 1983. He roared into office with a goal of improving family farmer’s opportunities to make a living. Farmers Market was seen as a tool to provide more of the value of the produce to the farmers and less to the dreaded middleman. It also provided healthier, tastier, and more […]

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 […]