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Producers increasingly caught in a squeeze by ‘faddish demands’ of consumers, food companies

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For a long time, farmers grew what consumers wanted because the consumers wanted food and that was what the farmers grew. Nobody paid much attention to labels.
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State’s top climatologist says last year’s drought-busting El Niño is on its last legs

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Say adios to El Niño, says Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon. The weather pattern that perpetually drought-stricken Texans depend on to break the dry cycles is waning, and it probably won’t be back for another two to seven years.

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Texas one of 10 states helping preserve habitat of monarch butterfly, other pollinators

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In November, former First Lady Laura Bush and representatives of Texas Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Wildlife Federation gathered at the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas to speak on behalf of the monarch butterfly and announce the Texas Monarch/Native Pollinator Conservation Plan.
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Bills filed in Texas Legislature could affect farmers, ranchers, landowners, other ag-related interests

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More than 6,000 bills have been filed in the Texas Legislature this session, including some that relate directly to agriculture and others that could affect farmers, ranchers and land owners in indirect ways. Here’s a look at some of them.
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Texas couple who’ve devoted a collective lifetime to conservation receive distinguished award

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After Blair Fitzsimons helped get the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program passed by the Texas Legislature 10 years ago, members of the Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and others approached her about starting a program dedicated to agricultural land trusts.
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Career Opportunities: Literally tens of thousands of ag-related jobs in finance, engineering, IT and science go unfilled every year

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There’s more to a career in agriculture than driving a tractor or taking cows to the auction barn. Jobs related to agriculture are available in finance, engineering, IT and science, but a press release from Land O Lakes on National Ag Day last month showed that only 3 percent of college grads and 9 percent of Millennials surveyed have or would consider a degree in agriculture.
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Income from the growing field of agritourism has doubled in recent years, and some Texas farms are reaping the rewards

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Not all farms and ranches have a sign warning the public to stay off the property. In its place might be a sign showing their business hours, a schedule for farm tours, or advertising for a special events. That ag operation might double as a pick-your-own fruit or vegetable farm, selling direct to the public, a corn maze or happy hunting ground.
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Bearing Up: Now off the Endangered Species list, these massive omnivores are even making a comeback in Texas

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Investigating a bear sighting in Texas is a little like the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” but in reverse order. In the movie, contact with extraterrestrials is the third level of contact. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) classifies a close encounter of the first kind as the one to get excited about.
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Hail To The Farmer: There was a time in America when the road to the White House often began on the farm

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We haven’t heard a lot of talk about or from farmers during this year’s presidential primaries, which is one indication of how much the country and its politics have changed over the course of a couple of centuries.
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An Interview With The Commissioner: Sid Miller talks about his accomplishments and the goal to be ‘the best ag commissioner Texas ever had’

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Speaking to an audience of mostly non-farmers in a live and far-ranging Texas Tribune interview on March 10, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller presented an overview of Lone Star State agriculture, listed his office’s accomplishments, and explained why the political economics associated with the office can be so complicated.
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