Tribpedia: Department Of Agriculture

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is the state agency charged with overseeing agricultural business and collecting statistics on crops and livestock. The agency was established by the Texas Legislature in 1907.

TDA is based in Austin, Texas and has five regional offices, four satellite offices, seven laboratories and six livestock export facilities.

The commissioner of agriculture, who is elected ...

Texas winegrowers fear new herbicides will wipe out industry

In his vineyard, Bobby Cox uses hand-for-scale to show how long his grape leaves should actually be. Chemical damage from herbicide drift causes leaves to shrivel and suffer from strapping, interrupting the grape productivity.
In his vineyard, Bobby Cox uses hand-for-scale to show how long his grape leaves should actually be. Chemical damage from herbicide drift causes leaves to shrivel and suffer from strapping, interrupting the grape productivity.

Cotton farmers on as many as 3.7 million acres in the High Plains will soon be switching to new herbicides to keep weeds out of their genetically engineered cotton crops. But the state's vintners have already lost grapes to the chemicals, and they fear expanded use will wipe out the area's wine industry. 

Former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has started a project to help women called HERdacity and written a book, "Texas Tenacity: A Call for Women to Direct Their Destiny." The project is an online community aimed at empowering women and the book will be released in early 2017.
Former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has started a project to help women called HERdacity and written a book, "Texas Tenacity: A Call for Women to Direct Their Destiny." The project is an online community aimed at empowering women and the book will be released in early 2017.

Susan Combs' next act? Inspiring Texas women.

After decades in Texas politics, Susan Combs is focused on building safe spaces for women to exchange ideas and experiences. With a new memoir and a new nonprofit, she hopes to encourage more women to take on leadership roles.  

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in his office in Austin, Sept. 14, 2016.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in his office in Austin, Sept. 14, 2016.

Miller Won't Face Charges For "Jesus Shot" Trip, Rodeo Visit

Travis County prosecutors say “criminal intent would be difficult to prove," so they're not pressing charges against Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller for controversial state-paid trips to a Mississippi rodeo and to receive a "Jesus Shot" in Oklahoma.  

Retailers who measure consumer goods must register their scales with the state.
Retailers who measure consumer goods must register their scales with the state.

Ag Commissioner Takes on Weighty Issue

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is working on a roundup. Instead of cattle, he's eyeing wayward herds of retailers who may have neglected to register their scales with the state of Texas.

State Reps Todd Hunter, Lyle Larson and Chris Turner listen as representatives of the State Auditor's Office testify before the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics July 12, 2016.  The committee is investigating the use by state agencies of emergency leave and settlement payments to departing employees.
State Reps Todd Hunter, Lyle Larson and Chris Turner listen as representatives of the State Auditor's Office testify before the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics July 12, 2016. The committee is investigating the use by state agencies of emergency leave and settlement payments to departing employees.

Lawmakers Ask Whether Agencies Abused Emergency Leave Policy

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Lawmakers peppered policy experts with questions about whether state agencies who keep departing employees on the state payroll by placing them on "emergency leave" violated state law, during a hearing on Tuesday. 

Sid Miller, who was elected agriculture commissioner in November 2014, is shown at Day 3 of the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.
Sid Miller, who was elected agriculture commissioner in November 2014, is shown at Day 3 of the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.

Sid Miller Says Finance Probes Going Nowhere

Four complaints were filed against Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in 2014 involving his campaign finance reports as a state legislator. One investigation has been closed, and Miller says he expects the other three to be dismissed. 

Sid Miller, who was elected agriculture commissioner in November 2014, is shown at Day 3 of the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.
Sid Miller, who was elected agriculture commissioner in November 2014, is shown at Day 3 of the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.

Texas Ag Chief Wore Two Hats at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

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As Texas agriculture events go, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was a must-do for state Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and his staff. But Miller had more than an industry interest. He also had a personal one.

Sid Miller, who was elected agriculture commissioner in November 2014, is shown at Day 3 of the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.
Sid Miller, who was elected agriculture commissioner in November 2014, is shown at Day 3 of the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.

Analysis: Sid Miller's Lonely Political Rodeo

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's itch for public attention earned him his latest headline, aided by his overdeveloped political reflex for deflecting blame. But the attention comes at an inopportune time.

A new fuel pump sticker issued by the Texas Department of Agriculture puts tax blame on Congress and the Legislature while placing Commissioner Sid Miller's name in greater prominence.
A new fuel pump sticker issued by the Texas Department of Agriculture puts tax blame on Congress and the Legislature while placing Commissioner Sid Miller's name in greater prominence.

New Gas Pump Stickers Highlight Sid Miller, Ding Lawmakers

A new sticker for the state's gas pumps comes with a few additional flourishes: Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's name emblazoned across the top and a disclaimer blaming gas taxes on Congress and the Texas Legislature. 

 

From left: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
From left: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

Analysis: It Was a Tough Day for the Class of 2014 in Texas Politics

Some of the state officeholders elected in 2014 face struggles to gain control of their government, political and legal duties. They're looking like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, or the 1962 Mets. But the stakes are more serious than that.

Michael Tummillo (right), the official volunteer chaplain at the Texas Department of Agriculture,  joins hands in prayer with attendees at a weekly "Faith at Work" gathering at the Stephen F. Austin state office building.
Michael Tummillo (right), the official volunteer chaplain at the Texas Department of Agriculture, joins hands in prayer with attendees at a weekly "Faith at Work" gathering at the Stephen F. Austin state office building.

With Chaplain, Texas Agriculture Chief Brings Faith to Work

Since naming an official volunteer chaplain at his agency, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has reserved a place for Christianity in the Stephen F. Austin building, and invited his employees to join.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller during a Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs hearing on Dec. 8, 2015.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller during a Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs hearing on Dec. 8, 2015.

Ex-Texas Agriculture Commission Worker Alleges Discrimination

Shelia Latting, who is black, filed a lawsuit in state district court in Travis County Tuesday, claiming she lost her job a year ago as deputy chief financial officer due to racial discrimination at the agency.  

 

 

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller testifies during a hearing of the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs on Dec. 8, 2015. He defended a proposal to hike fees on services and licenses his agency provides.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller testifies during a hearing of the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs on Dec. 8, 2015. He defended a proposal to hike fees on services and licenses his agency provides.

Lawmakers Grill Miller on Ag Fee Hikes

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller faced pointed questions from lawmakers Tuesday over his plan to dramatically hike fees on a host of licenses, registrations and services that his agency provides.