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Posted on Oct 16, 2023 in Editorial, Featured

Proposition 1 protects Texas family farmers and ranchers

Proposition 1 protects Texas family farmers and ranchers

By Russell Boening
Texas Farm Bureau President

Proposition 1 on the Nov. 7 statewide ballot is a monumental opportunity for Texas farmers and ranchers and for Texas agriculture.

The language on the ballot reads:  "The constitutional amendment protecting the right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management."

More than 97% of our farms and ranches in Texas are family operations. Proposition 1 protects ALL farmers and ranchers. Large and small.

I am the fourth generation of my family to farm my family’s land near San Antonio. I work the same soil as did my grandfathers on both sides.

Proposition 1 will protect family farmers and ranchers from regulatory overreach of state agencies or local governments.

Local government overreach negatively impacts farmers and ranchers who provide “locally sourced” food products for consumers.

This overreach is not theoretical. It is real.

Here are a few examples of ordinances in cities and municipalities in Texas that exemplify the pressure agriculture faces from an increasingly urban state.

A city ordinance says no grass in the city limits is allowed to be over 12 inches. There are no exceptions for agriculture. So, the city found a farmer in the city in violation on both his hay field and his cattle pasture.

A farmer was harvesting corn in one city, and local police told him that it was illegal due to the dust.

A grower received citations from a city over hay bales on his property. He said he received citations of $250 each for 436 hay bales because of city ordinances.

If you can believe it, a city actually has an ordinance that bans the public mating of livestock.

To comply with the ordinance, family farmers and ranchers must build a structure that would prevent any public viewing of that activity.

These are just a few examples of what farmers and ranchers are dealing with at the local government level.

Proposition 1 protects the public from any real danger. It protects animal health and welfare. It protects crops from diseases and pests. And it protects water, fish and wildlife, trees, and other natural resources.

Texas continues to rapidly increase in population.

Texas has lost more than 2 million acres of farm and ranch land in the last quarter-century. Our farm and ranch legacy is at risk.

Proposition 1 maintains the legacy of agriculture in our state by protecting the right to farm and ranch.

It is critical that farmers and ranchers be able to grow food, fiber and fuel for our state and nation as more and more agricultural areas are impacted by development and population growth.

One out of seven jobs in Texas is related to the food and fiber system. Proposition 1 ensures the economic benefits of agriculture for our state continue, especially for rural communities and small family farms and ranches.

The election is Nov. 7. Early voting for the election begins on Oct. 23.

There are 14 constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Please join me in voting YES on Proposition 1!


Russell Boening is a full-time farmer and rancher from Wilson County. He grows feed grains, cotton and wheat, as well as operates a dairy and a beef cattle operation with his brother near Floresville. He is president of the Texas Farm Bureau.

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