POSTED: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 14, 2014 - 12:51pm
Tyler Tx, (KETK) — Local farmers and ranchers met Thursday with Texas Agriculture Commissioner candidate J Allen Carnes. They discussed the future of the agricultural industry in our state and have many concerns about it. They said Texas is losing agricultural land faster than any state in the country and the future of Texas agriculture depends on the next generation.
As a farmer, Mark Chamblee is worried about the future of Texas agriculture.
"We've got to feed America and we have to feed other countries because a lot of other countries depend on our food products and agricultural products as exports," said Chamblee.
Texas is second in the nation in agricultural production, but the state is losing land and most farmers and ranchers are almost 60-years-old.
"We need to be able to hold on to our environment and create an environment that entices young people to come into this field either the actual farmer or rancher or in the allied industry," said Texas Agriculture Commissioner candidate J Allen Carnes.
Carnes said the future of domestic agricultural production depends on the next generation.
"98.5% of all producing land here in the state is family-owned and operated. We're not built on these big corporate operations, we need to make sure we allow that family farmer rancher to produce in the future."
Carnes also said it's important for the next generation to get involved so we don't have to depend on foreign countries for our food.
"We have the safest, most secure, most affordable, most abundant food supply right here in this state and if we are going to remain Texas and have this great growth that we've seen, we have to hold on to that. We can't be dependent on another place for our food and fiber needs."