Sid Miller Sworn in as New Texas Ag Commissioner at Pharr International Bridge; Dante Galeazzi and Bret Erickson Comment
PHARR, TX - Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller was sworn in yesterday, January 14, in a fashion that looked to highlight trade and immigration across the Texas border. The official chose to be sworn in at the Pharr International Bridge rather than in Austin—a first ever for the state, according to multiple reports.
“It’s a great day to be on the Texas border,” Miller said during his swearing in, as reported by KXAN. “I am honored to again take the oath of office to represent Texas as your Agriculture Commissioner for the next four years. I can think of no better place to accept this responsibility than here in the Rio Grande Valley, a region vital to the agricultural and economic future of Texas.”
The stage was surrounded by fresh Rio Grande Valley fruits and vegetables, to further emphasize the importance of trade between the two neighboring territories, according to the report.
"Today, for the first time in history, a Texas Agricultural Commissioner took his oath of office at a place other than the state capitol. Amidst the sounds of 18-wheelers and mariachis and the wonderful scents of both locally grown and imported fresh produce, the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) reelected Ag Commissioner Sid Miller was sworn in at the Pharr International Bridge in South Texas,” Dante Galeazzi, President and CEO of the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) shared with ANUK.
Dante said it was a tremendous honor for the produce industry and the local ag community to have Commissioner Miller sworn in at the import point, where he highlighted the economic importance of the region for its value in not just the domestic production of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also the role that fresh produce arriving from Mexico plays in the U.S.’s economy as a whole.
“Commissioner Miller mentioned that the TDA office was responsible for overseeing the $6 billion agriculture industry in Texas; an economic value that exceeds the budgets of some states,” he said.
Bret Erickson, Senior VP of Business Affairs for J&D Produce, Inc., echoed Dante's sentiments.
“The fact that Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller chose to be sworn in at the Pharr International Bridge sends a powerful message that Texas agriculture and international trade go hand in hand; that Texas and Mexico are partners who can and find ways to work together to achieve positive economic growth for our respective regions. Many Texas produce companies have a foot on both sides of the border and rely on imports as part of their overall business operations,” Bret shared. “Texas agribusinesses collectively import and export a tremendous amount of product. The fact of the matter is we live in a global economy and it is critical to our future success that we not only acknowledge that point, but embrace it in order to continue to grow and prosper. I look forward to Commissioner Miller’s continued emphasis on enhancing international trade opportunities for Texas agriculture for both exports and imports.”
Tamaulipas Governor García Cabeza de Vaca was present at the ceremony as well, speaking to the importance and strength of partnership between the two entities.
"Since the start of my tenure as Governor of Tamaulipas, we have worked hand in hand with the Texas Department of Agriculture and Commissioner Miller to increase trade that has greatly benefited producers and consumers. We look forward to continuing the close relationship we enjoy that is unique on the U.S.-Mexico border," Governor Cabeza de Vaca said, KXAN reported.
“Governor Cabeza de Vaca also spoke to how agriculture was vital to both our economy and that of states like Tamaulipas. He thanked Commissioner Miller for the partnership and friendship between Texas and Tamaulipas, and he also recognized that corridors such as the Pharr International Bridge are important to growing that relationship. That idea is something TIPA and our members can agree with wholeheartedly. The message is that the Tex-Mex corridor thrives on the partnership between the continued growth of Texas produce and the steady flow of Mexican-grown produce to keep our region an agricultural and economic hotspot," Dante concluded.
Is this a first in a series of moves to further highlight produce’s importance, nationally and internationally? AndNowUKnow is eager to see, so stay tuned.