“From the gas pump you used to fill up your car this morning, to the salsa you’re eating at dinner…”
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas — “Everyone thinks we’re cows, plows and sows at the Ag Department, and we do do all that, but we actually do a lot more,” said Sid Miller, Texas’ Commissioner of Agriculture, in an exclusive interview with Texas Insider’s Jim Cardle.
“Agriculture is the second largest industry in the state, and creates $115 billion dollars a year. And with 1 in 7 jobs related to agriculture, Texas leads the nation in many categories,” Miller said.
“People don’t realize it, but we are also the Consumer Protection Agency for the state. We’re responsible for maintaining and checking all the scales across Texas… you think of them at the grocery store or in weighing big trucks, but its also at the airport when you weigh your luggage, its at Starbuck’s where you buy a pound of coffee, yogurt shops, barbecue restaurants, mail houses, pharmacies, you name it,” said Miller.
“We’re the agency that checks all the bar code scanners in the state. We’re also in charge of rural healthcare for 177 counties.
“The biggest program we run, a $5 billion dollar program, is the nutritional program for both the federal government and the state. That’s 5 million school meals each day. It’s our job to oversee that program,” said the Texas Agriculture Commissioner.
“Summer feeding programs, Meals on Wheels, during Hurricane Harvey we were also in charge of the USDA’s commodities and getting food to those shelters where people were rescued.
“So we’re a pretty busy bunch, and that’s only scratching the surface of it, because we have over 130 statutory functions, including marketing Texas products,” Miller said.