Texas Dept. of Agriculture rep says beef, poultry, lumber commodities are viable

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 3:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2021 at 10:48 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Consumers have seen grocery prices go up; now lumber prices. East Texas beef producers, poultry and timber growers aren’t the source of the problem according to Manuel Martinez, a field representative for the Texas Department of Agriculture. He monitors and promotes agriculture across twenty East Texas counties.

His assessment of beef, poultry and timber production is positive.

“All that is viable. It’s health and doing well,” said Martinez during Tuesday’s Nacogdoches Chamber Stakeholders call.

But consumers are growing weary of increased prices and low availability of some food items. Martinez knows that’s not the producers’ fault.

“Agriculture never stopped when the pandemic hit us. Those farmers and ranchers were out there. It was the processing part of it that got affected. Once those processors get their employees vaccinated, I think that’s when things will start to see that waiver at some time.”

Martinez does not have a crystal ball as to when prices will go down, but he has a good idea of what will maintain the commodities stability. His specialty --marketing.

“What I’m trying to do is promote Texas products and be a resource for rural and economic development.”

Martinez says agriculture thrives when communities thrive. Soon the Rural Economic Development Fund will be launched by the Department of Agriculture to serve new and existing business development.

“This fund will be able to assist the city or the county with any type of infrastructure that would be utilized to help with this company,” explained Martinez. “As long as that infrastructure is also going to benefit the city and not just that company they can apply for this fund.”

Martinez also encourages businesses, manufacturing, and organizations to join the GO TEXAN program. It showcases products and businesses made in Texas.

“Texas Farm Products, TFP Nutrition there in Nacogdoches, they’re part of our GO TEXAN program.”

As is Fredonia Brewery, The Farmer’s Market and The Blueberry Festival.

Martinez says when consumers buy GO TEXAN products it helps sustain the Texas economy. And strengthens East Texas agriculture.

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