Landline – August 2022 – STPRA
Landline – July 2022
July 13, 2022
Landline – September 2022
September 21, 2022

Landline – August 2022

A Message from Executive Director, Susan J. Kibbe

Dear Members,

I predict that there will be a time in the not-so-distant future that I will be able to start this update and not lead with the weather and border security, but it is not today. With floods to the north and east and drought that imperils both crop and livestock production in Texas, who among us isn’t focused on the weather? Then one realizes when it comes to immigration, Texas has a flood of illegal migrants while a persistent drought of needed farm workers spreads across the country, your focus is drawn again to border security and all of the issues that grow out of the chaos we see in South Texas.

With regard to the drought, dry weather tends to usher in wildfires. Wildfires tend to frighten 95% of our citizens, who turn to the legislature to “fix things”. You can rest assured, that come January 2023, there will be calls to stop all fires in Texas (actually, they have already started). As most of you know, prescribed fire is one of the best natural tools that land managers have to maintain healthy rangelands and we cannot afford to lose that tool. Through my role with the Prescribed Burn Association of Texas, I am working with burn managers, landowners, wildlife enthusiasts, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and others to educate the Texas Legislature on the benefits of prescribed burns, especially in relation to uncontrollable wildfires. We are working on your behalf to impress upon them the need to make this tool more available to private landowners by supporting education, outreach, and a much-needed insurance pool to support burn managers and their role in assisting private landowners to put fire to work safely.

To touch on the flooding to the north and east, our hearts go out to all those families that have been tragically impacted by torrential rains. The natural world around us can be hard to explain and impossible to control. What we are left with is to deal with the consequences. Combined with the war in Ukraine and drought in Texas and the Southwest, I fear that some of those consequences will lead to some major disruptions in the food and fiber supply chains in our country. Once again, those citizens that understand us the least will be depending on us to do the most to provide for them through a “rough patch”. As ag producers, we have before and will again.

Now to the other “flood”. As we are all aware, the border has not become noticeably more secure in the past month, but I did have the privilege to spend some time last month with our two US Senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, during a tour of the border that included five of their Senate colleagues. The article and photo in the July 18, 2022 newsletter prompted a number of calls of concern that I was just playing into the “right wing” political game. While it is true that all seven Senators were republicans, my job is to assist, educate, and motivate decision makers of all persuasions to solve problems that face our members. When it comes to border security, I am going to participate as much as possible with any and all state and federal leaders that are willing to come to South Texas to “put eyes on the problem” and work toward effective solutions.

It is unfortunate that the vast majority of those in Washington that choose to make the trip are Republicans, because it is a bi-partisan issue and will require a bi-partisan solution to have long term stability, rather than kicking the can back and forth from administration to administration. My sincere thanks to Congressman Henry Cuellar who continues to be a lone voice in his party when it comes to border security and immigration reform. I have been told that there are others in the Democratic Party with a desire to fix the problems we face down here. If you know them, please invite them down, I welcome the opportunity to tour the border with anyone interested in real solutions. To that end, in light of the decision by the Biden Administration to listen to and act on US Border Patrol advice to close gaps in the Arizona border wall, I say thank you. One bi-partisan solution in the right direction! Maybe the “drought” of legal, tax paying, migrant farm workers to help with agriculture supply chain issues can be the next.

To close, I want to once again acknowledge the passing of Nancy Brown Negley. Without her generous support and foresight, STPRA would not have grown into the success it is today. Without the continued support you have all shown, we would not be able to continue the legacy that our founders began.

Looking forward to seeing you all in McAllen in October at this year’s AMF.

Until next month,

Susan J. Kibbe
Office (361) 522-5194