Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Legacy of a True Ag Champion Lives On

Texas agriculture lost a legend Tuesday morning when S.M. True died in a farming accident, according to the Plainview Daily Herald. The report indicates Mr. True was at work beneath a tractor when a piece of machinery fell on him. He died at the scene at age 88, but his legacy will live forever.

Mr. True’s dedication and commitment to the land helped make Texas agriculture the $100 billion powerhouse of productivity we all benefit from today. Not only did he roll up his sleeves and work hard to produce affordable, quality food and fiber for Texas and the world, Mr. True also helped shape policy that allowed his fellow farmers to do the same. His influence and impact were more than immense; they were, and remain, immeasurable.

A champion of Texas agriculture since childhood, Mr. True would go on to serve as president of the Texas Farm Bureau for 11 years where he ensured the TFB was front and center on issues affecting our state’s farmers and ranchers. Kenneth Dierschke, current TFB president, called Mr. True a “giant,” in Texas agriculture adding, “S.M. True has left a towering legacy at Texas Farm Bureau. Serving the farm and ranch families of Texas was his passion. He was still doing that as long as he lived.”

Gov. Rick Perry, a former Texas Agriculture Commissioner for eight years, spent a great deal of time with Mr. True and said, “He was a pure gentleman and a true Texan who profoundly loved the state, particularly our agricultural heritage. He left this world doing what he does best — engaged in the production of food and fiber. He will be sorely missed by all Texans — city dwellers and ranchers alike — whether they knew him personally or not.”

Mr. True also served on the board of Cotton Inc. for 21 years. His impressive leadership credentials included tenures on the board of directors for the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Meat Board. He also was a key figure in organizing the National Grain Sorghum Producers organization.

Through his stewardship, leadership and dedication to building a better Texas through service and the promotion of production agriculture, Mr. True also was the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including a Meritorious Service Award from the Texas Farm Bureau, a Distinguished Service award from the American Farm Bureau and a place in the Heritage Hall of Honor at the Texas State Fair in 2002.

As Texans and Americans, we are blessed with the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world. For that we can thank “giants” like S.M. True who made it his lifelong work to put Texas at the forefront of worldwide agriculture.

Texas was built on the shoulders of giants, but giants are nothing more than ordinary men and women who have an inordinate passion for building a better Texas.

Our condolences and heartfelt thanks go out to Mr. True’s family and friends. Texas will miss you, good sir, but your legacy and contributions will never be forgotten.

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