Larry Mitchell


Larry Mitchell
Larry Mitchell, former NFU Vice President of Government Affairs, & TFU member.

With our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Larry Mitchell family.

Larry has been working for the Texas Department of Agriculture, and living in Hutto, Texas in the metropolitan Austin, TX area.

Larry was a good friend to many of us, and a strong advocate for family farmers and ranchers for many years, some dating back to his involvement in the American Agriculture Movement of the mid 1970s. Larry was a man of many talents and interests. He was a fast-thinking slow-talking Texas farm boy who was an encyclopedia on agricultural policy and history. Larry was well connected, well liked, and well respected.

At this time funeral details have not been set. As details are provided, they will be shared.

Obituary Information

Latest copy of House Version 24 Farm Bill released by Chairman Thompson

  • House Agriculture Committee Chairman GT Thompson (R-PA) shared a 38-page long document that details about his forthcoming draft farm bill legislation:


    House Version 24


    The chairman also issued an open letter to farm bill stakeholders, in which he outlined his approach towards penning the legislation. He pointed out that he's willing to receive additional feedback and concluded his letter by saying "while the Chairman’s mark is near finalized, my door remains open." You can see the letter here:


    Open Letter

122nd National Convention

  • The National Farmers Union just completed our 122nd National Convention in Scottsdale AZ. Delegates, Board Members, Guests’ Representatives, 234,000 members from across country: Farmers, Cattleman, Fishers, & Organics.


    Texas group: David Schertz wheat, corn, cattle producer from Krum, Texas. Along with Bert Pruett is also cattle producer from North Texas, Alton Cook farmer from Lamesa, Texas. New member Clayton Tucker from Lampasas sheep and goat farmer. Also attending President Mike Oldham of Smithville came from Shamrock, Texas formerly cotton, wheat, peanut, and cattle producer.


    The NFU Convention started with a banquet on March 10th where we received a message from the White House. The National Farmers Union distributed all Service Awards. The White House welcomes the input of NFU members, & input on 24 Farm Bill. NFU always asks for what is needed not necessarily what can be passed by Congress, we usually meet somewhere in middle. The union has grown by about 30,000 over the last year. We remain strong and the oldest farm organization in the US.


    On Monday morning March 11", President Rob Larew gave some membership and leadership awards & gaveled into session. Convention addressed by Sarah E. Suggs of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute of American Democracy. This group works with high school age youth from across America, learning in camps how democracy works, really teaching government or civics which aren’t mandatory in our school anymore. We as NFU want young citizens to be taught what it means to be a part of this great democracy.


    Secretary of Ag Tom Vilsack made a few remarks, then we were made aware of the huge impact of no new farm bill and importance of one, along with the funding from Congress to Administer it. Followed by about 2 and a half hours of questions and answers. The secretary also took out time for some “one on one” meetings with our members. His caring attitude and relationship with the Farmers Union always a plus for Agriculture. Our NFU staff and members constantly lobby on behalf of all involved in Agriculture to get the right bill passed. The rest of the day was spent in breakout sessions. Food Safety, & Right to Farm laws. New opportunities in the low carbon world, managing stress, protecting land owner’s rights and Right to Repair Legislation.


    Rob Larew of West Virginia, & Jeff Kippley of South Dakota were reelected as President and Vice President on March 11th. We heard remarks from Rod Snyder Senior Advisor of Agriculture at EPA, Doug McKalip Chief Negotiation for U.S. Trade, also Sarah Hunt National Association of Farm Broadcasters.


    After a short lunch the delegates quickly returned for Policy Adoption, when members from across Agriculture decided what our policy will be in 2024. Not to say some points of view needed debate. After a day and half our policy makes room for, all farmers, stockman, and fishers. We believe in a strong crop insurance program, disaster program, & we must constantly strive for higher prices and safety net.


    We ended the convention with the passage of Policy & Special Orders of Business. Farm Safety Net, Family Farming and Conservation. Fairness to Farmers, Diary Policy Reform.


    We will gather again in March 2025 for the Convention in Oklahoma City.

USDA’s “Product of USA” label

  • USDA recently announced a long awaited new “Product of USA” labeling rule. USDA stated that starting in 2026 animal products would need to be born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the U.S. to use the “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” labeling.


    Texas Farmers Union (TFU) supports this new labeling rule and sees it as a step in the right direction, but still asks for, Mandatory Country of Origin (MCOOL) on all food products.


    The new labeling rule addresses a loophole used by multinational meatpacking corporations that has allowed cattle born and raised in Mexico and Canada but slaughtered and packaged in the U.S. to be labeled “Made in the USA”, which undermines the U.S. beef market and cuts into U.S. ranchers paychecks.


    TFU believes in fair trade with our trading partners but feels that the U.S. farmers, ranchers and consumers should be the top priority when it comes to rulemaking and not what is in the best interest of multinational corporations or other countries.


    Thanks,



    Texas Farmers Union

Ban on Beef Imports from Paraguay

  • Texas Farmers Union (TFU) supports the Congressional Review Act recently passed by the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support that would reinstate a long standing ban on beef imports from Paraguay that was lifted in November 2023.


    TFU applauds the Senate for their recognition that this ban being lifted was a problem for cattle producers and consumers in the U.S. and now asks the House of Representatives to quickly take up the measure and pass it.


    The ban on beef imports from Paraguay will benefit U.S. cattle producers consumers by protecting the safety of their food supply and also placing a value on supporting American farmers and ranchers when they go to the supermarket


    Thanks,



    Texas Farmers Union

Texas Farmers Union opposes Mandatory Electronic Animal ID

  • USDA has been trying to implement mandatory electronic identification (EID) for over a decade behind the push from multi-national meat packing corporations and the rouse of food safety and traceability. They have failed to accomplish this from a push back from the American farmer and rancher every time that subject was brought up.


    USDA is again trying to force their plan for all cattle producers to use EID ear tags on all adult cattle shipped across state lines. They have submitted a final rule for review by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This is a step closer to accomplishing their goal.


    Texas Farmers Union (TFU) has always fought for farmers and ranchers to keep their right to a more profitable path in agriculture. TFU believes that the new rule would cause burdensome regulations and extra costs to the farmers and ranchers. The extra costs to farmers and ranchers from the tags themselves to the other infrastructure costs that more than likely will passed on to the farmer and rancher.


    TFU believes that the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule that exist today covers the requirements needed to trace cattle movement. The rule requires all dairy cattle and adult beef cattle that cross state lines have some form of identification either in the form of electronic or low tech forms of ID. The new proposed rule would make EID the only form of ID allowed for cattle crossing state lines.


    TFU and farmers and ranchers need your help by calling your Congressman/woman and Senators and tell them to stop USDA’s EID mandate. Call the Capital Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for them by name.


    Thanks for your help and consideration.



    Texas Farmers Union

2023 National Farmers Union Fall Fly-In Update

The National Farmers Union held its Annual Fall Fly-In September 11-13th in Washington, D.C. Farmers, Rancher, and Community leaders from across America participated. We started off with an 8 a.m. meeting in Jefferson Auditorium of USDA headquarters complex.

We had a few minutes of silence remembering 9/11.

Time was spent from 8-12 a.m. hearing from USDA Officials to include Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department Secretary. Program Administrator Zeke Deavaurx, and National Farmers Union President Rob Larew. During our time with USDA, we were allowed time for questions and answer sessions.

Starting at 1:15 p.m. Farmer gathered for Capital Hill Briefing at the Russell Senate Building, where we heard from staff of both House and Senate Ag Committees from both parties. Where we were told a budget deal had to be reached before the Farm Bill would be finished.

That evening we enjoyed a roof top reception gathering in the Spirit of Cooperation. Where we finalized plans to begin Capital Hill visits on Tuesday & Wednesday.

Farmers & Community leaders from across the farm belt visited with our Representatives on Tuesday & Wednesday to discuss our priorities for this Farm Bill. We don’t want to have snap funds decreased to increase loan rates. Keep and improve crop insurance, make it more affordable with a permanent disaster program, Dairy Revitalization plan along with Right to Repair, Child Care in rural America, Farmers First Act, better staffing at USDA. For a complete list look on the NFU website https://nfu.org/ .

We did take time on Wednesday morning for a trip to the White House where administration officials told us what the current priorities at the White House for the Farm Bill. We were told again budget is a big concern to come from congress.

Everyone flew out on Thursday returning safely home.

Farmers Union Members & Interested Parties

As I speak to different farmers, ranchers, and Ag businesses across our state, looks like we are well on our way to another year of drought conditions, hope for normal crop production is fading fast.

Crops across the state all needed rainfall last week. Pastures for cattle are becoming critical! Many livestock producers are already culling herds and looking for hay. Hay is in short supply and quality is down. Much of what’s available is either corn or milo stalks which must be supplemented with protein. Much talk in the countryside about a feed program of some sort, as cattle numbers are already at record lows. Our dairymen continued to be plagued with low milk prices.

Texas Farmers Union is aware of these issues along with – it being time to get serious about what’s needed in the 2023 Farm Bill.

OUR FARM BILL PRIORITIES ARE:

• Adequate safety net with loan rates set at cost of production.

• Good crop insurance program with premiums not so high producers can’t afford them.

• Dairy Revitalization Program; Fairness for Farmers.

• Conservation Program.

• Permanent disaster program.

We will be attending the National Farmers Union Annual Fly-In to Washington D.C. September 10-13, 2023. Meetings with USDA and two days of telling our elected Representatives about life in rural communities and our thoughts on what’s needed for a good 2023 Farm Bill. We also will be talking about some type of feed program needed for the cattle across the state.

Anyone interested in Fly-In call the TFU state office.

This is our time to have an input in the 2023 Farm Bill and any other issues that need to be addressed!


Mike Oldham, TFU President

Unprecedented Rainfall in O'Donnell

The Beginning of June 2023, O’Donnell, TX experienced torrential rainfall rates continued for nearly two hours, from around 9:30 am to 11:30 am, before finally diminishing, then ending completely by early afternoon. Before all was said and done, the O'Donnell WTM measured an incredible 7.02", much of which fell in the 2-hour window mid-late morning.