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Commissioner Miller Delivers State of Agriculture Address (7/8/2015)

AUSTIN - Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller celebrated his first six months at the helm of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the successes achieved thus far in his tenure. In his live-streamed address, Commissioner Miller discussed topics including reducing mandates and reforming the school nutrition policy in Texas, new initiatives in consumer protection, the creation of the Office of Water and his fight against federal overreach. Commissioner Miller also laid out his vision for the future of the agency and Texas agriculture. 

“It’s been an honor to serve the people of Texas and our farmers and ranchers as Agriculture Commissioner,” said Commissioner Miller. “The work we’ve done so far is only the beginning. It was my goal from day one to hit the ground running, and I can honestly say that my team and I have done just that.”

From the beginning, Commissioner Miller has maintained a clear goal of serving members of the agriculture community and all Texans. He has worked to give back local control to schools, prioritize water issues, re-invigorate programs to combat childhood obesity and stop the federal government from overregulating the state.

“Drought, hurricanes and tornadoes are not the biggest threats facing Texans, rather it is the overzealous federal government that seeks to unduly, and often times unlawfully, overregulate our citizens,” Commissioner Miller said. “I have joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in his lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. We are working to stop this out-of-control federal agency from its illegal attempt to greatly expand the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. I will continue to look for ways to protect Texans any time, any place and any way I can.”

During his address, Commissioner Miller also commended TDA employees for their incredible work in increasing efficiencies in agency operations, as well as their commitment to cracking down on consumer protection violators.

At the start of Commissioner Miller’s tenure, TDA was facing a 2 1/2 year backlog in providing organic certifications. The bottleneck of organic certification applications has been erased over the last six months. Today, TDA is processing organic certifications on time with no delay.

Additionally, 26 new TDA inspectors will be hitting the field to protect Texas consumers later this year. More than 100 cases of compliance violations will be prosecuted by the end of 2015. This efficiency is all thanks to hard work and strong leadership.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with than the folks at TDA,” Commissioner Miller said. “The level of expertise and commitment to the needs of Texans from the TDA staff is unparalleled. We continue to look for areas to improve, while continuing to be responsive to our stakeholders and consumers. As an elected official, I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient with taxpayer dollars. Together, we must work hard to be innovative and relevant in the lives of all Texans, while also ensuring that agriculture remains a driving force in our state’s economy. I am incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in a mere six months, and I have high expectations for the future.”