The Death of Agriculture - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

The Death of Agriculture

Ryan Cody
NewsChannel 10

Plainview, TX - Among the many tasks at hand for the Texas legislature next year will be drawing new district lines based on the 2010 census. And preliminary population numbers are turning in to what some area reps are calling a scary reality.

Armed with new data about where people are living these days, the legislature in Austin will draw new district lines. And some say they could make big changes for the future of rural areas like the Texas panhandle.

"Since our population is dwindling we are going to lose representation. We may lose one or two state representatives and we don't know how our US representatives are going to be reconfigured," says District 85 rep Joe Hefflin.

14 of the 16 counties Hefflin represents lost population according to preliminary census numbers... meaning his district and others close by, like the Amarillo area won't have as many reps in congress.

"It will jeopardize your voice in the legislative process." Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples fears more reps to the big cities will make ag-friendly legislation impossible to pass.

"We are one Texas. Both urban and rural Texas are in this together and we need policies that support both urban and rural Texas."

He fears more EPA control of our billion dollar ag industry, and more legislation like the pending cap and trade bill.

"If you have less numbers out here it makes it tougher to get favorable legislation passed in the state house," Hefflin says.

Which will make it tougher for local producers to make a profit. And could cripple the number one industry feeding our local economy.

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