Bankers, elected officials and others often make important decisions that concern Nacogdoches County's 235-million dollar agriculture industry. Yet they may not have a true understanding of the industry's impact.
Nacogdoches County Extension Agent Jackie Risner changed that with an ag tour around Nacogdoches County. "You drive up and down the roads and the highways and you look across the fence and you might see a little bit of action that goes on, but there's so much of it that's back behind the scenes that you don't see. We just want to try to familiarize people what we do."
"It's true.we really have the top of the line in everything," exclaimed SFA's Dr. Tim Cherry who builds awareness about the university's state of the art Poultry Center.
Poultry is Nacogdoches County's largest ag income producer. The 134 million dollar industry is highly advanced. "Everything is tied into this computer. I can do everything from here that I can do in the houses and we can also do it anywhere in the world if we have a phone line," explained a poultry science graduate student.
Timber is the next biggest income generator bringing in over 38 million dollars. Texas Forest Service District Forester, John Boyette reminded, "And, of course, you can spread that over about 42 or 44 counties in East Texas and it's a very significant contributor to East Texas economy."
Beef generates 28 million dollars.
With the addition of a new SFA Equine Center someday horses may not be too far behind. The brainchild of Dr. Joe Gotti pointed out, "In fact, the horse industry in Texas is about half the size of the poultry industry. So every time you see a chicken truck, think half a truck of horses." An interesting way of looking at the diversified industry of agriculture.