Tom Pauken Tuesday explained to the Texas Farm Bureau Board his heart-felt concerns for agriculture in Texas. Here are excerpts from Pauken’s prepared remarks:

“Agriculture is a key component of the Texas economy, and it needs to remain that way.  The U.S. must maintain its position as the number one agricultural nation in the world. You know what has happened to U.S. manufacturing as a result of a disastrous set of tax and regulatory policies. This has resulted in the export of American prosperity and jobs overseas.

“We can’t let that happen to American and Texas agriculture. I am a proponent of ‘Made in the USA’ — and that includes agriculture and manufacturing.

“As Governor, I will work with you to make sure Texas remains number one in agriculture, and I will encourage your efforts to expand your markets overseas. At the same time, I will be vigilant in the protection of private property rights — and that includes water rights.”

Pauken told the Board that he is very appreciative of agriculture and recounted how, as chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, he worked to expand opportunities for career and technical education – including vocational agricultural courses at the high school level – through the development of House Bill 5, which now is law.

Pauken also distinguished himself from Attorney General Greg Abbott who represented governmental interests above private property rights for farmers in the case of Edwards Aquifer Authority v Day. The Texas Supreme Court ruled against the authority in a 9-0 vote, affirming the rights of farmers to water under their property.

“I believe in the agricultural vocation and the rights of farmers from my heart. It is critical that the next governor fully understands the importance of this industry to the future of Texas,” Pauken concluded.