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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller Honors Lives And Sacrafices Made by Farmers and Ranchers (11/22/2019)

AUSTIN – Today, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) honored 15 of our state’s farmers and ranchers who lost their lives or were severely injured in agriculture-related pursuits at the 4th  Annual Texas Agriculture Memorial Day ceremony at the State Capitol today. On the south steps of the Capitol, Commissioner Miller accepted a memorial wreath carried by state FFA and 4-H youth leaders on behalf of the family members. In the Capitol Extension Auditorium, a solemn memorial ceremony was attended by invited guests and family members of those being honored.


“Texas owes a debt of gratitude to these farmers and ranchers,” Commissioner Miller said. “Their commitment and sacrifice to produce the food and fiber we all need, is unparalleled . It is an honor to recognize these selfless and hard-working men and women whose daily dedication to agriculture contributes so much to our heritage and our economy. Today, we ask God to lift up the family members of those we lost, and to continue to bless all our farmers and ranchers across Texas.”


Texas Agriculture Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor the lives and sacrifices of our state’s farmers and ranchers. Joining Commissioner Miller today was event creator John Paul Dineen, III who lost his son to an agriculture-related accident and organized Texas Agriculture Memorial Day in his honor.


“Sometimes in agriculture there is more than just an economic cost to producing food and fiber to feed the world,” John Paul Dineen III said. “We are here today to honor these individuals and their families that have lost a father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, in producing the most affordable and safest food in the world. We want these families to know their loved one has not been forgotten.”


Among the individuals being recognized, eight individuals  lost their lives in an agriculture-related accident and seven will be posthumously honored for dedicating their life to agriculture.



William Ray Pankonien from College Station, Texas

Travis William Herring from Lometa, Texas

Marvin Schiel from Magnolia, Texas   

James Loran from Seymour, Texas

Cole Easton Gordon from Friendswood, Texas

Booker Franklin Foster from Kress, Texas

Clint Riddle from Italy, Texas                                                                     

Sue Boyd from Whitney, Texas 


Life of Service:

Walter Browning “Buddy” Banks from Waxahachie, Texas

Jessica Lynn Chance from Azle, Texas

Randy Justiss from Lancaster, Texas

Felipe G. Avila from Robstown, Texas                                                                   

Marcus “Mark” Hardinburg Brown from Sherman, Texas

Meagan Hooker from Italy, Texas

William Raymond Gorman from Italy, Texas                      



For those interested in applying for recognition in next year's ceremony, nominations are being accepted online at https://goo.gl/forms/CrdSDoLGxJodgpLv1.


For media interviews with Commissioner Sid Miller or other participants, please contact:

Maddison Jaureguito

(512) 463-7899

More TDA press releases are available at TexasAgriculture.gov/Newsroom

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Maddison Jaureguito

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