Monday, January 12, 2009

USDA Gives $4.9 Million to Help Fight Fever Ticks in Texas

Today was an important day for Texas agriculture, as well as for the entire United States cattle industry.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer traveled to Laredo with a letter confirming that $4.9 million will to go toward the cattle fever tick eradication efforts in South Texas. Lone Star State cattlemen are on the front line of defense of the fever tick battle zone, and we're excited this additional funding will help them combat the problem.

Fever ticks are capable of carrying and transmitting a parasite that destroys red blood cells in cattle, causing “cattle tick fever,” which can kill up to 90 percent of infected cattle. Failure to eradicate the pests in South Texas could lead to devastation across the country.

Many more hurdles remain in eradicating the fever tick, but progress like the money from USDA makes me optimistic about the future.

We appreciate U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar along with State Representatives Sid Miller and Ryan Guillen for joining us at today’s announcement and showing their leadership and support.

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