Members of the newly appointed Texas Grain Producer Indemnity Board met for the first time in January to being work on grain indemnity fund policy.
The nine-member board was appointed by Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples. The representatives from grain producers, storage facilities, and grain buyers are: Dale Artho, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Association; Daniel Berglund, Texas Soybean Association; Guy Brady Jr., Texas Grain and Feed Association; John Cowan, Non-Warehouse Grain Buying Industry; Mitchell Harris, Expertise in Production Agriculture Financing; Charles Huddleston, Texas Farm Bureau; Brian McCuistion, Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council; Ben Scholz, Texas Wheat Producers Association, and Dee Vaughan, Corn Producers Association of Texas. Board members elected Vaughan as board chairman, Artho as vice chairman, McCuistion as secretary, and Harris as treasurer.
"I commend these individuals and others for working with the Legislature to address the need for developing self-funded solutions to benefit the Texas grain industry," Agriculture Commissioner Staples says. "Protecting grain producers from losses due to (grain buyer) failures is a smart investment toward protecting our overall economy and ensuring consumer demand is met."
The board began discussion on determining procedures and a goal date for the producer referendum, and other related items to get the fund in place so producers will be covered from losses when they are not paid for grain they deliver to a buyer or a storage facility.
"The board is working hard to efficiently determine the operations of the indemnity fund so we can work to get the fund in place and provide the protection producers need," Vaughan says.
Once the board establishes its procedures, producers then will have a 90-day notice before the referendum is held. The cost of the referendum will be paid by producer organizations and agricultural financing institutions. The board is the result of legislation passed by the 2011 Texas Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Perry.