Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Following the recent request by Governor Greg Abbott for agencies to cut their budgets by 5 percent, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has ordered his staff to deepen that cut to 10 percent. Agencies have been requested to submit their budget cut plans by June 15.
“This is going to be a tough year for Texas families,” Miller said, “and state government needs to tighten its belt along with everyone else. While TDA is already a lean, efficient agency that pays its own way, I’ve directed my staff to cut 10% without affecting our farmers and ranchers or our rural communities.”
TDA is a cost-recovery agency, meaning that most of its programs are funded by those that use them. Agency responsibilities include regulation of pesticides, ensuring accuracy of scales, protecting agriculture from invasive pests and plant diseases, ag marketing and more. The agency also manages the federal school lunch and school breakfast programs and is responsible for 5 million school meals every day. Throughout the pandemic, Commissioner Miller and the Texas Department of Agriculture have been on the forefront in the fight to save Texas rural hospitals, ensure schoolchildren continue to receive healthy meals and protect the agriculture industry and the food supply chain.
“While Texas might just be reopening, we will feel the economic impact of this pandemic for a long while,” Miller said. “But with patience and prayers, we will make it through this crisis because we are Texans,” Miller said. “We’ve had our share of dust storms, tornadoes, droughts, and famines. And we have always withstood the test. We will again.”