About the Commissioner

Rick Perry is a fifth generation farmer and rancher from Haskell County, Texas who grew up learning how to coax a living from the West Texas land. He also learned the importance and value of service-both to his community and to his country.

Rick has been a leader most of his life, as an Eagle Scout, as a student leader at Texas A&M and as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. After graduating from A&M in 1972 and leaving the Air Force in 1977, he returned home to Haskell to farm and ranch with his family. But he soon felt the call to public service and was elected state representative from District 64 for three terms.

While serving in the Texas Legislature, he was selected as one of the 10 most effective leaders by The Dallas Morning News in 1989.

Rick was elected to his first term as agriculture commissioner in 1990 and was re-elected again in 1994 with the highest percentage of the vote of any state official on the ballot. During his first four years, the agency's staff cleared up a backlog of pesticide enforcements and stressed education as a way to encourage proper pesticide use. He reduced the TDA payroll by 15 percent, without decreasing the agency's efficiency. Rick has proven that productivity and fewer people go hand-in-hand.

Under his leadership, Texas agriculture has regained visibility and access in Washington D.C. and at the state level. Rick served on the U.S. Trade Representative's Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on International Trade from 1991-93. He has earned a national reputation as an authority on private property rights, international trade, worker protection and value-added processing.

When he began his second term, Rick announced his goals to lead Texas agriculture into the 21st century-goals that emphasize research and technology, create a welcoming business climate and promote Texas agricultural products at home and abroad.


Consumers should take care to check pest control products, services 6/97
Matter of Fact Commentaries 6/97
Matter of Fact Commentaries 5/97
Matter of Fact Commentaries 3/97-4/97
Statement to the Senate Natural Resources Committee 3/97
Home Equity Borrowing 12/96
Regulations Opinion Column 6/96
Drought Opinion Column 4/96

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Last modified: July 22, 1997