YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
'Essential Americans' describes Texas farmers and ranchers
By Gary Joiner
Pennsylvania Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson smiles when using the term “essential Americans” to describe farmers and ranchers.
Thompson represents a rural district in western Pennsylvania. He’s the ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee.
Thompson used the term on a recent swing through Texas to discuss the next farm bill.
The “essential” description is a good one for Texas farmers and ranchers.
Texas agriculture produced $24.9 billion in cash receipts last year. That’s about 5.7% of the national total and fourth highest among all states, according to the state Comptroller’s office.
The economic footprint of the Texas food and fiber system is huge. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service estimates the system contributed $159.3 billion or about 8.6% of the state’s total gross domestic product in 2019.
Agriculture is a job creator. One in seven Texans has a job related to agriculture.
Texas has more farms (247,000) and more acres of farmland (126 million) than any state.
It’s amazing that only 1.5% of our nation’s population grows food, fiber and fuel so everybody else doesn’t have to worry about it.
“Essential” is the right word at the right time. Let’s not forget it as agricultural policy and our national food security are discussed.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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