Committees focus on agricultural matters


On Mother's Day, we once again celebrated the wonderful women in our lives who helped shape us into the men and women God called us to be. And while it is true that every day we should honor our mothers, it is my hope that you'll hug the neck of the women you hold most dear in your life and take some time to express your appreciation for all they have done. Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms!

With that, here’s an update from your Capitol in Austin. . .

Agriculture and Livestock

With mowers and hay balers being serviced, summer gardens planted, and the Farm Bill surfacing as one of this year’s key pieces of legislation in Washington D.C., I thought it only appropriate to check in on the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock.

Like other interim committees, Agriculture and Livestock will spend a lot of time examining how agencies such as the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the Texas Animal Health Commission can better mitigate the impact of natural disasters on the agricultural and livestock industry in our state.

However, the committee's work will not solely focus on natural disasters, as they have established an ambitious interim schedule that will focus on a number of key issues as well.

As with all of the work we do in Austin, legislators strive to deliver on the expectations of their constituents. One specific expectation of folks in my district, and one that I share wholeheartedly, is that our state government operate as efficiently as possible with taxpayer dollars. As such, the committee will examine the financial benefits of partnering with private industry on certain programs administered by the TDA.

While these programs benefit the state from a public health perspective, we must strive to make certain that an unfair burden is not placed on our farmers and ranchers.

Another topic the committee will explore is the development of a central filing system for products subject to agricultural liens, which are used as collateral for loans. Such a system could potentially streamline the process by which agricultural businesses operate and go a long way in eliminating some burdensome red tape.

Recognizing how important the work of this committee is to our agricultural producers, you can rest assured I will keep a close eye on their hearings and, ultimately, their recommendations to the Legislature.


The mobile office is on the road for the month of May and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: May 16 in Crockett at the Houston County Courthouse Annex from 9-11 a.m., or in Groveton at the Trinity County Courthouse from 1:30-3:30 p.m.; as well as on May 23 in San Augustine at the San Augustine County Courthouse from 9-11 a.m.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.

Trent Ashby represents District 57, which includes Madison County, in the Texas Legislature.