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2 Document(s) [ Subject: Small farms ]

Committee: Senate Agriculture, Rural Affairs, and Homeland Security
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Agriculture | Aquaculture | Diet and nutrition | Droughts | Fire prevention | Firing ranges | Food safety | Grain elevators and warehouses | Horse slaughter | Horses | Land conservation | Obesity | Ranches and ranching | Rural areas | Small farms | Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program | Texas A&M AgriLife Research | Veterinarians | Water conservation |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 Ag86r
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [47 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the impact of the drought on the Texas agricultural and ranching industry.
2. Develop methods and legislative recommendations to minimize the effects of drought and respond to the challenges for farmers and ranchers.
3. The committee should focus on the following:
  • Implementation of best management practices for agricultural conservation
  • Alternatives to federal assistance due to drought losses
  • Long-term economic impact of the drought on the agricultural sector of the Texas economy
  • Better management of federal, state, and local parkland/preserve-land to reduce fire risk, including cooperative fire mitigation efforts with surrounding properties and neighborhoods
  • Analysis of Texas forest service and land management recommendations and options from other states for mitigating risk
4. Study and make recommendations for ways to increase investment, employment and production in Texas agriculture. Include a review of current land use and market trends as they relate to agricultural use and make recommendations for ways to support and enhance small farm and ranch operations.
5. Study current federal, state and local safeguards regarding seafood consumption in Texas. Review existing academic studies, and federal, state, and private data relating to the safety of imported seafood, and provide recommendations on the need for additional studies and testing related to safety advisories for the public.
6. Assess the current veterinary medical workforce, and make recommendations to address any disparities between small animal (companion) and large animal (food/fiber) veterinarians. Review the Rural Veterinary Medical Loan program (RVML) and make recommendations to enhance the use of RVML funds and other funding sources to increase the veterinary medical workforce.
7. Review the impact of state laws relating to the closure of horse slaughter facilities across the United States. Analyze the impact on the equine industry and agricultural sector of the Texas economy.
8. Examine ways to increase the use of Texas agricultural products in healthy foods readily available to Texas consumers. Evaluate the role of community initiatives in reducing obesity and diet-related diseases and make recommendations to support state and local efforts.
9. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural Affairs, 82nd Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the implementation and effects of current and proposed federal laws and regulations, including Environmental Protection Agency initiatives that may impact the Texas farming and ranching industry.
Committee: House Public Health
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Dental care | Dental Examiners, Texas State Board of | Farmers | Food safety | Health care costs | Hunger | Medicaid | Medical education | Medical records | Nurse practitioners | Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act | Physician assistants | Physician shortages | Property tax exemptions | Public health | School nutrition | Small farms | State hospitals | Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 H349h
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [66 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the adequacy of the primary care workforce in Texas and assess the impact of an aging population, the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and state and federal funding reductions to graduate medical education and physician loan repayment programs. Study the potential impact of medical school innovations, new practice models, alternative reimbursement strategies, expanded roles for physician extenders, and greater utilization of telemedicine. Make recommendations to increase patient access to primary care and address geographic disparities.
2. Study the various health registries maintained by the state, including the similarities and differences in reporting, consent, security, and portability of data. Assess registry compliance with standards for the protection and transmission of registry data and identify any additional steps necessary to ensure security, efficiency, and utilization.
3. Monitor implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including any changes that may result from ongoing litigation or legislative modification or repeal. (Joint with the House Committee on Insurance)
4. Identify policies to alleviate food insecurity, increase access to healthy foods, and incent good nutrition within existing food assistance programs. Consider initiatives in Texas and other states to eliminate food deserts and grocery gaps, encourage urban agriculture and farmers' markets, and increase participation in the Summer Food Program. Evaluate the desirability and feasibility of incorporating nutritional standards in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Monitor congressional activity on the 2012 Farm Bill and consider its impact on Texas. (Joint with the House Committee on Human Services)
5. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 82nd Legislature.

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