The Farm Bureau of Texas is asking the Texas legislature to extend its farm bureau mandate to include certain businesses with “farm commodities,” including “agricultural commodities,” and “food and beverage commodities,” according to the agency’s latest legislative action.
The agency’s proposal would extend the mandate to cover “farm produce,” “farm crops,” “agribusinesses,” “farming commodities,” “foods and beverages,” “herb and vegetable wholesaling,” “processes, and agricultural commodities” and “other agricultural commodities.”
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In the wake of the massive flooding in Texas and the other states hit by the deadly El Niño, Texas is struggling to regain some semblance of health as its agricultural sector continues to suffer.
In response, the Farm Bureau wants to extend the farm bureau’s mandate to “all agricultural commodities,” which means that farmers must be able to prove that they have “good reason” to sell a commodity to a customer.
The Farm Trade Protection Act of 2017, which was sponsored by Sen. Don Huffines (R-Houston) and Sen. Jose Menendez (D-Houston), would also extend the bureau’s reach to include “food services, retail food establishments, and food service contractors.”
The Farm Business Coalition, a trade group that represents agricultural and food industry professionals, released a statement applauding the new rule.
“This is great news for Texas farmers, who have been forced to choose between a food economy that has become more limited and less viable or a more challenging economic environment in which to operate,” the statement read.
“The rule is an important step toward protecting Texas’s agricultural sector from a potentially crippling economic impact.”
The move comes just weeks after the Farm Trade Promotion Act of 2018 passed in the Texas House and is expected to be considered by the Senate by next week.
But despite the legislation’s passage, the agency still needs the support of the Senate to finalize the rule, which has yet to be issued.
The rule is expected by the end of the year.