Job description Oversees the Department of Agriculture, a Texas state agency. Term is four years.
Duties Promotes trade in Texas agricultural products, in the US and abroad.
Provides economic and business development assistance to rural communities; offers financial assistance to farmers and ranchers; grants funds for agricultural research.
Regulates weights and measures statewide, including gasoline pumps and grocery store scales and scanners.
Responsible for registering pesticides for sale, licensing and training pesticide users, protecting workers, and monitoring environmental impact.
Administers nutrition programs, including school meals in Texas public schools; runs statewide anti-obesity campaign; manages Texans Feeding Texans program to assist the hungry.
Certifies organically-produced products.
Annual salary $140,938
2917 Co Rd 423, Cleburne, TX 76031
|Sid Miller (incumbent)|
Note: Candidate answers are shown alphabetically by last name.
What is your current occupation? Educational background? What experiences do you have that make you the best candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture?
Trey Blocker: (a) – Conservative host of The Trey Blocker Show / President of the Civil Liberties Defense Foundation;
(b) – BA – Hampden-Sydney College (Virginia); J.D. – University of Texas School of Law;
(c) – I have worked my entire career on behalf of agriculture and rural Texas – first 10 years as a legislative staffer for several conservative, rural members of the Legislature and for the past 10 years as a legislative consultant for various Ag organizations.
What percentage of your campaign donations comes from individuals? What percentage comes from PACs?
Trey Blocker: Approximately 80% individuals; 20% PACs.
What are the most important things you would do to address food safety and availability challenges?
Trey Blocker: Food safety needs to be addressed not only at the state level, but also at the national level. Less than 2% of the seafood imported into our nation gets inspected for safety. This must change. I will work with our congressional delegation to increase inspection rates. I will also work with our congressional delegation on the details of the new Farm Bill to ensure the economic vitality of Texas producers, which ultimately ensures food availability and security.
A significant portion of Texas’ agricultural workforce is made up of migrant workers. How will you ensure there are enough workers to support Texas’ farms in the wake of SB4 and stricter immigration laws?
Trey Blocker: Congressman Goodlatte of Virginia filed a bill in Congress last year that would create a new worker visa program for Agriculture producers. It’s a streamlined program that makes it easier for businesses to find workers and for workers to find a legal means to work in the U.S.