Agriculture & Water
Many communities in South Texas were originally founded as ranching and farming towns. My ties to South Texas agriculture date back many generations. Macedonio Vela and his wife, Mercedes Chapa, immigrated to South Texas from Mexico and established the Laguna Seca Ranch with land purchased from John and Salome Balli McAllen. The ranch is steeped in South Texas history as the first citrus orchard in Hidalgo County was planted at the Laguna Seca Ranch.
Today, as South Texas becomes more urban, ranching and farming are still vital to the region’s economy. Numerous crops are grown in District 34 including sorghum, citrus and cotton with a yearly economic impact of over $2 billion.
As a member of the House Agricultural Committee, I am committed to supporting policies, which allow South Texas farmers to prosper. Additionally, I have two subcommittee assignments. I sit on the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management which has jurisdiction over programs and markets related to cotton, cottonseed, wheat, feed grains, soybeans, oilseeds, rice, dry beans, peas, lentils, the Commodity Credit Corporation, risk management, including crop insurance, commodity exchanges, and specialty crops.
I also sit on the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit , which has jurisdiction over livestock, dairy, poultry, meat, seafood and seafood products, inspection, marketing, and promotion of such commodities, aquaculture, animal welfare, and grazing, rural development, farm security and family farming matters, and agricultural credit.
Water is a critical resource not only for farming and ranching, but also for our towns and cities throughout South Texas. Working to ensure sufficient water is available to our region both today and in the future is one of my top priorities. This is particularly important when South Texas is in the midst of a severe drought. Whether pushing to secure the water Mexico owes us under the 1944 Water Treaty between our two nations or focusing on ways to preserve and enhance our water supplies, I will continue to help South Texans ensure this vital resource is available.
- Vela Pushes Obama to Act on Water Treaty
- Vela Rallies Locals on Mexican Water Deficit
- Possible SNAP Reduction Brings Worries
- Proposal Would Reduce Food Stamps Program by $20B