Thursday, November 21, 2013

National Rural Health Day

Guest blog from Bryan Daniel, TDA’s Trade and Business Development Chief Administrator.

Today is National Rural Health Day, a time to recognize and honor the dedicated health care
professionals located throughout rural Texas who provide quality care and assistance to Texans who not only live in their communities, but who are visiting or traveling through.

Rural Texas is currently facing a shortage of physicians and health care providers face a unique set of challenges in meeting the needs of the three million residents who call rural Texas home, but in true Texas Spirit, they have dug in their heels continue to meet these challenges head on. Through determination and devotion, these professionals routinely provide residents quality care.

Rural hospitals are often the second or third largest employer in smaller communities and often offer the highest paying jobs in that area. Equipping rural hospitals with modern technology allows health providers access to the most advanced equipment and treatments options. The expansion of broadband service is helping health care professional receive training through online classes, keeping them informed of current industry trends. Additionally, through avenues, like tele-medicine, patients can connect with specialists, who may be several hundred miles away.

The Texas Department of Agriculture’s State Office of Rural Health is dedicated to assisting rural communities and helping them provide affordable, quality care to rural Texans. Today, on National Rural Health Day and every day we are sincerely grateful for the unceasing work the dedicated rural health care professionals who daily care for the health and wellbeing of our fellow Texans.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Salute to our Soldiers, Past & Present

Service. Sacrifice. Courage. Patriotism. Bravery. These are just a few of the words that come to mind this Veterans Day as I think of the American soldiers, both past and present, who preserve the
foundation of safety and freedom for our nation. Today is a day where we, as civilians, can stop to recognize their sacrifices and honor the blessings of liberty they ensure for each of us, our families and our great nation.

Our service men and women are a true definition of bravery. They leave their families to fight wars, enter harm’s way and protect our land. They miss birthdays and holidays, births and funerals, times of joy and times of sorrows. But their valor and their patriotism never waivers.

This Veterans Day, join me in saluting those who are serving our nation today and those who have served our nation in the past. We live in a country where freedom and liberty are our most prized possessions. Through the courage and sacrifice of our mighty military men and women, we stand proud as a nation when we say God Bless America. May our brave soldiers continue to be blessed for their dedication to duty and freedom.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Living to Serve

Chalk up another big win for the state of Texas and the agriculture industry, thanks to the newest members of the Texas FFA. During the 2012-13 school year, the Texas FFA Association added more students than any other state in the nation. With 8,533 new members, total FFA membership in the Lone Star State now stands at 95,015.

Nationally, FFA set a record. Membership in the association stands at 579,678 students in grades seven through 12. More than 22,300 new students joined FFA last year. The number of local FFA chapters throughout the country has grown to 7,570.

You might be asking yourself, What does this mean to me and why is it so important? These FFA chapters are training our future leaders, developing responsible citizens and opening up minds to the world we live in — without abandoning the heritage that brought us to the level of prosperity we enjoy today.

I encourage urban and rural students to check out their local FFA chapter to learn about the many ways they can be a part of today’s agricultural world. From large animal veterinarians and biology researchers to marketing specialists and economic experts, today’s agriculture career opportunities are much broader than they were a generation ago. Texas agriculture will continue to be a large part of our state and nation’s economy, and I’m glad FFA is preparing some of our brightest leaders.

I continue to live by the FFA motto today, just as I did when I first memorized it; Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.