LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - He's a third generation farmer and the current mayor of Uvalde, Texas, which is 85 miles west of San Antonio. But one thing J. Allen Carnes is hoping to add to his resume is Texas Agriculture Commissioner.
As the number two agricultural state in the nation, Carnes says his love for agriculture has always been in his blood.
"I got involved with ag policy about ten years ago, and realized the disconnect that we saw around the state...what people don't realize is that we are all tied together," Carnes said.
Carnes says one of the concerns he has about the state of agriculture in Texas is the fact that we have an aging population of farmer's and ranchers.
"The fastest growing portion of that population is over 70. Were using ag lands more than any place in the nation. We're seeing subdivisions crop up and ag beng taken out of production in the ranch land or fam land. So those two things together make it concerning that we need to have an atmosphere, have an environment in which we can provide the food and fiber source for the state in the future," Carnes said.
Carnes says he is focused on helping rural, urban and suburban Texas to keep the state sustainable and doesn't want Texas' dependance on foreign lands for food to be an obstacle.
"It's going to grow. We're going to double in population and as we do that we're going to have to make sure we can meet those challenges of growing that food and fiber source," Carnes said. "It's been part of this growing atmosphere that we see all the time. We need to make sure we hold on to it in the future."
Carnes received his degree in finance from the University of Texas' McCombs School of Business in 1997. In 2004, Carnes became active in agricultural policymaking working on issues such as water, immigration, food safety and the farm bill.
He also worked alongside current Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples in policymaking focusing on issues critical to the state's agriculture industry.
For more information on Carnes, visit his website jcarnesfortexas.com.