I wanted to take the opportunity to thank each of you for your dedication and service to our state. Through the collective efforts of all Texas A&M AgriLife employees, we recently concluded a successful 86th Legislative Session.
In addition to maintaining our 2018-19 funding levels for important programs such as Healthy Texas, Vector-Borne Disease Research and the Texas Wildfire Protection Plan, two of our four agencies received full funding for the agency’s priority exceptional item. This legislative session marks just the second time in recent history that multiple AgriLife agencies received full funding for their priority exceptional item request, including:
- $6.8M in funding to AgriLife Extension to support Disaster Readiness and Recovery
This is the largest appropriation of new exceptional item funding in the agency’s history and, with it, Texas and Texans will be better prepared to face and recover from disasters. The program will create six regional teams of AgriLife Extension professionals to provide rapid, precise assessments following a disaster and implement critical recovery protocols. These Disaster Assessment and Recovery Teams (DARTs) will aid communities with resiliency planning, emergency preparedness, hazard mitigation and long-term recovery.
- $1.2M in funding to support TVMDL’s poultry laboratories
This funding provides support for the state’s two poultry laboratories and ensures all four Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) laboratories, which are strategically located across the state, have the capacity, equipment and staffing to meet the needs of Texas’ vast and diverse livestock industry.
The 86th proved to be a successful session for Texas A&M AgriLife agencies. I would like to thank our Texas legislators and Chancellor John Sharp for their continued support and understanding of the importance of each agency and their respective missions.
Finally, thank you for helping demonstrate the importance of AgriLife’s work on a local, state, national and international level. Your discoveries, outreach, service and continued leadership, whether it be in your day-to-day activities or when giving of your time and expertise to answer legislative inquiries, ensures AgriLife’s success and advances our mission of reaching every Texan.
Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Research