Texas

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Texas Interest Rate Reduction Program

The Texas Agricultural Finance Authority ("Authority") was created in 1987 as a public authority within the Texas Department of Agriculture. The Authority provides financial assistance through eligible lending institutions to creditworthy individuals and businesses. TAFA encourages private commercial lending at below market rates, to eligible applicants for eligible projects.

Texas Young Farmer Interest Rate Reducation Program

The Young Farmer Interest Rate Reducation Program is administered by the Texas Agricultural Finance Authority and offers low interest commercial lending for farmers 18-45.  The program is intended to facilitate a below-market interest rate to eligible and creditworthy applicants through a commercial lender. The lender must be a financial institution that makes commercial loans, be certified as a state depository by the Comptroller of Public Accounts and agree to participate in the Young Farmer Interest Rate Reduction Program.

Texas Young Farmer Grant Program

The Young Farmer Grant Program provides grants to eligible young farmers to create or enhance agricultural enterprises in Texas. The program is administered by the Texas Agricultural Finance Authority within the Texas Department of Agriculture.  The program provides small grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to start-up or expand operations.  Grants may not be used for capital expenditures with a cost of more than $5,000 or a useful life of more than one year. Operating expenses for contract labor, seed, fertilizer, livestock, feed and fuel are all eligible expenses.

Austin, TX: Sustainable Food Policy Board

This Austin, TX ordinance establishes the Sustainable Food Policy Board to serve as an advisory body to the City Council and Travis County Commissioner’s Court concerning the need to improve the availability of safe, nutritious, locally, and sustainably-grown food at reasonable prices for all residents, particularly those in need, by coordinating the relevant activities of city government, as well as non-profit organizations, and food and farming businesses.

Private Lands Public Benefits: Incentives for the Stewardship of Texas Agricultural Lands

Texans take great pride in their land. The Lone Star State’s farms and ranches provide food and fiber, wildlife habitat, and sources of drinking water. Moreover, these working lands connect all Texans—whether rural or urban—to their heritage, to that legacy of rugged independence, unlimited opportunities and wide open spaces.

Smart Growth Policies: An Evaluation of Programs and Outcomes

Despite the widespread adoption of smart growth principles, there has been little systematic assessment of their effectiveness or consequences. To fill this need, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy collaborated with 14 of the country’s leading public policy researchers and planners to measure performance in four states with statewide smart growth programs (Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon) and performance in four states without such programs (Colorado, Indiana, Texas, and Virginia).

Cost of Community Services: The Value of Farmland and Open Space in Bexar County, Texas

To measure the fiscal impact of existing land uses on Bexar County’s budget, University of Texas-San Antonio graduate student Helen Holdsworth, with the assistance of American Farmland Trust (AFT), conducted this Cost of Community Services (COCS) study. Revenues and expenditures from three different types of land uses—agricultural/open space, commercial/industrial and residential—were considered for fiscal year 2001. Tax revenues generated by each land use were compared to dollars spent to provide public services such as road maintenance, schools, water/wastewater and law enforcement.

Texas Rural Lands

In 2001,the Governor ’s Task Force on Conservation concluded that the fragmentation of large family-owned farms and ranches poses the greatest single threat to wildlife habitat and the long-term viability of agriculture in Texas.The task force recommended that Texas initiate a statewide private lands conservation program called a Purchase of Development Rights program.The Rural Land Fragmentation Project summarized here provides public and private leaders with the baseline data needed to develop and evaluate policies to slow the loss and fragmentation of farms,ranches and wildlife habitat i

Cost of Community Services: The Value of Farm and Ranch Land in Hays County, Texas

Hays County farms and ranches produce more than $10 million a year in market value of agricultural products sold, but their contribution to the community goes far beyond providing food and fiber. Because open and agricultural lands require less in county expenditures than they generate in taxes, this resource can be a fiscal asset to a county struggling to manage unprecedented growth.

Finding the Balance: Ranching and Rapid Growth in Bandera County, Texas

Traditionally Texans have viewed new growth as new wealth for struggling counties. And Bandera County is growing. Its location in the scenic Hill Country west of San Antonio, ranked the tenth largest city in the nation, makes Bandera County an ideal refuge for commuters and tourists alike. But new growth hasn’t brought new wealth to Bandera County’s coffers. Although residential land contributes the largest amount of revenue to the county, its net fiscal impact is actually negative.

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