Proposed trade pact could further boost thriving Texas dairy industry

By Darren Turley, TAD executive director

This month I had the opportunity to attend a meeting with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at the Texas Farm Bureau headquarters in Waco. Several commodity groups were represented at this town hall-style meeting and listened to the senator discuss the importance of trade agreements to U.S. agriculture, such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The USMCA is expected to be an even greater benefit to Texas agriculture due to our state’s proximity to the growing Mexico economy. Sen. Cruz encouraged attendees to have their membership contact Democrats in Congress to ask them to support USMCA because of the Texas agriculture impact.

The Texas dairy industry is poised to increase sales to our southern neighbor with the passage of the USMCA. Mexico already is a large consumer of our dairy products, but there is an opportunity for more sales. With new plants in Texas producing butter, butter powder and milk powder, Texas dairies are positioned to export into the Mexican market for decades to come.

The $3.5 billion impact the dairy industry has on the Texas economy will continue to grow, as these plants are capable of moving more and more product south across the border.

Sen. Cruz’s comments were a vast change from almost three years ago when TAD staff toured Hilmar Cheese and Del Rio Dairy with him to educate him on the dairy industry in Texas. He now has a better understanding of the importance of agriculture to Texas and the U.S.  He also understands that agriculture in Texas represents many votes.

TAD has a continuous challenge to educate lawmakers and regulators about the economic impact of the Texas dairy industry. You can learn about that economic impact on our website.

I encourage those in the Texas dairy industry to contact your congressional representatives and tell them why USMCA is important to your livelihood.