I recently had the pleasure of meeting Rick Rhodes who is the Administrator for Rural Affairs for the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). Rick is a very interesting and knowledgeable guy who served four terms as the mayor of his hometown of Sweetwater, Texas before coming to TDA. Over the course of an hour talking about the trends in rural Texas, it was obvious that Rick has a lot of passion and enthusiasm for the future of rural and small-town Texas. I learned about several exciting programs of Rick’s department that will be of interest to some of our clients. Here is a sampling:
The Family Land Heritage Program recognizes families that have owned and operated their Texas land for 100 years or more. We already represent a number of these families and we would like to see more of our eligible clients apply for this program. There are no legal protections or financial benefits directly related to this program, but I think it will make a difference when applying for grants or defending against condemnation if the land has been recognized as part of the heritage of Texas. CLICK HERE to learn more.
The Agricultural Loan Guarantee Program will guarantee loans to establish or enhance agricultural operations up to $750,000 and rebate a portion of the interest paid on these loans. This program can make the difference for someone who is thinking of buying agricultural land or investing in agricultural operations. CLICK HERE to learn more.
The Young Farmer Grant Program provides matching grants up to $10,000 for people under 45 years of age who want to start or expand agricultural operations. We are very proud that one of our former attorneys, Susana Canseco, just received one of these grants. Susana still does some contract work as a lawyer, but she is mainly focused on developing a market for grass-fed beef business to compliment her family ranch. Check her out HERE and the TDA program HERE.
To see all the various programs of Rick’s department, CLICK HERE.