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AUSTIN – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has requested Texas Governor Greg Abbot recognize the agriculture industry as an essential industry which provides a service indispensable in the effort to protect our nation’s food supply. In a letter to Governor Abbott, Commissioner Miller stressed the significant role farmers and ranchers play during the COVID-19 health emergency. Miller asked the Governor to provide protection and assistance to the agriculture industry during this global pandemic as an industry that is needed now, more than ever.

 “Our farmers and ranchers feed and clothe the nation,” Commissioner Miller said. “Every day, 365 days of the year, agriculture influences your life. And right now, during this healthcare emergency, we rely on our farmers and ranchers even more to keep our food supply safe and bountiful.”

In his letter, Commissioner Miller asks that from now on, any shelter or emergency orders from the Governor list agriculture as an essential business or industry. This should include farms, ranches, dairies, greenhouses, pest applicators, feed stores, grocery stores, livestock auctions, fruit and vegetable processing facilities, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores, fish operations, horticulture, floriculture, gas stations necessary for transportation, cooperatives, farm and ranch supply businesses, and any food production related entity. Rural medical facilities are also an industry that must maintain operations. Additionally, Miller reinforced the need to make sure we have a sufficient legal immigrant workforce to carry out these essential functions.

“As your Texas Agriculture Commissioner, it is my job to protect the welfare of livestock and keep the crops free of damage,” Miller said. “These folks dedicate their livelihood to see our country succeed. It’s time we return the favor and help our neighbors in a time of need.”




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