Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Trade and Development Mission to Romania – Day 2

Commissioner Staples traveled to Romania March 29 - April 1 for a trade and development mission to Romania as an invitee of the Emanuel Agriculture Development Corporation. The trip serves many purposes: to establish a trade relationship that will foster bi-national commerce between Texas and Romania and to assist Romanian farmers and ranchers by sharing ideas that can improve their agriculture industry. Below is a day-by-day account of Commissioner Staples’ visit to Romania.

See a slideshow of his trip here:

An eastern European country just has a different feel to it that is hard to explain.

It is almost like a throw back in time in a way, yet not quite. There is a McCafe on every corner and plenty of BMW ‘s and Mercedes Benz that rapidly pass you by on these narrow pot-holed roads.

Communism was so dominant here for about 40 years. While a democracy has emerged, areas are still struggling. Graffiti is so widespread in downtown Budapest and Bucharest that you have to wonder how this could be allowed to continue. It makes our graffiti problems, as bad as they are, look like child's play.

Yet, the people we meet with have determination and resolve. It is my hope we bring back with us this same determination and resolve and rekindle the fire that burns inside of so many Texans and Americans. We must remind ourselves that we have a responsibility to leave things better than they were when we found them.

Our group expressed every bit of that during our lectures with undergraduate business students about the powerful possibilities of agriculture and the capital investment it brings, along with jobs and food security for a country's citizens.

I guess what we are doing is similar to what every farmer does each season as they plant a seed. They have the knowledge and skills to know they are doing the right thing. Then, they ask God to bless their efforts.

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