COLLEGE STATION — A list of agricultural producers and businesses that are involved in the value-added processing of Texas commodities is now available from county Extension agents.
“Many Texans do not understand the processes or know those people who add value to agricultural products,” said Dr. Joe Paschal, Texas Agricultural Extension Service livestock specialist in Corpus Christi and coauthor of the list.
“It’s difficult to clarify what ‘value-added’ means and how an individual can add value to their products,” Paschal said. “This index should help solve some of those problems and give the farmer or rancher a clear understanding of value-added products and services.” The new index contains entries for livestock and meats, fiber, forestry, fruits and vegetables, feed grains and seeds, and nurseries, said Cristel Hoffman of Cuero, who made the majority of the contacts for the list. Local, state and federal agencies that are able to provide information or financial assistance are listed as well.
For example, one of the companies listed processes fajita meat for export to Mexico; another offers custom dying and finishing of both organic and conventional cotton fabrics for the sportswear manufacturing industry; and still another produces hanging baskets of plants for a major grocery chain in the state.
Farmers and ranchers and associated agribusiness firms added roughly $45 billion to the state’s economic activity in 1995. That number grows substantially when value is added from the processing and manufacturing industries and retailing of food and fiber products. A business that adds value to agricultural product benefits not only agriculture but the community it is in, explains Dr. Dick Edwards, Extension economist. That business spends money for labor and supplies and adds to the base taxes of that community.
“It enhances the economy of that community,” Edwards added. The new resource directory was initiated by a committee of Extension faculty pulled together to find ways to add value to and create markets for Texas agricultural products.
Hoffman, who was an undergraduate agribusiness major at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, sought the help of county Extension agents and specialists in compiling the names for the list.
“The index is by no means a complete listing of all the participants in the agricultural sector who add value to Texas products,” Hoffman said. “But it does represent a diverse array of activity in the state.”
Producers and businesses may still be added to the list. Further information is available from Paschal, at (512) 265-9203, or fax (512) 265-9434. His e-mail address is email@example.com.