Rep. Ronny Jackson, others visit with farmers and ranchers

Many times, Congressional leaders and farmers can seem miles apart, but farmers and ranchers are working to close that gap by bringing lawmakers to the farm.

To help members of Texas’ Congressional delegation better understand issues facing agriculture, Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) hosted several farm tours in January and February.

“It’s important that our elected Congressmen and women understand the issues facing Texas farmers and ranchers. There’s no better opportunity to discuss those issues than by visiting farms and ranches, meeting families and seeing how lawmakers’ decisions impact the very ground they’re standing on,” TFB National Legislative Director Laramie Adams said. “There are so many issues facing farmers in Texas that it’s more important than ever for these Congressional leaders to see first-hand who they are working for when they are discussing farm programs and farm policy.”

U.S. Reps. Tony Gonzales, Ronny Jackson and August Pfluger toured farms and ranches in their congressional districts.

Although they visited different parts of the state, each congressman heard about similar issues—trade, taxes, labor, COVID-19 impacts, food supply chain, the farm bill, feral hog control and concerns about overregulation.

“We talked about some of the issues they have up here, and we talked about how things are going to go with the new administration coming on board. We’re going to stay aggressive on making sure that we’re pushing through good solid ag legislation that protects their livelihood up here, because one of the things we talked about was just a lot of the folks in D.C. don’t understand what goes on out in this part of Texas,” Jackson said. “I didn’t grow up as a farmer or rancher, so these folks out here are taking me under their wing. They’re teaching me what they do and teaching me what the issues are. We’re going to make sure that we get done what needs to be done, and we make this a reliable, profitable business to be in out here and eliminate some of the struggles that farmers and ranchers have had to endure over the last few years.”

A new administration and a new Congress will usher in new priorities, but Gonzales noted it’s important to maintain support for those in agriculture.

“I enjoyed the farm tour with Texas Farm Bureau and Medina County Farm Bureau,” Gonzales said. “The farmers, ranchers and producers in Texas feed and clothe our country, and we need to do everything we can to support them.”

And fellow lawmaker Pfluger also said he’s prepared to advocate for farmers and ranchers.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—American agriculture is a key facet of national security. I will always be a vocal advocate for the hard-working men and women who provide food and fiber for our country,” Pfluger said in a Facebook post about visiting farms. “Thank you to Slayton Hoelscher, the Denis family and Texas Farm Bureau for the grain elevator and farm tour.”