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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller honors lives and sacrifices made by farmers and ranchers

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AUSTIN – Today, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) honored 15 of our state’s farmers and ranchers who lost their lives or were severely injured in agriculture-related pursuits at the 4th  Annual Texas Agriculture Memorial Day ceremony at the State Capitol today. On the south steps of the Capitol, Commissioner Miller accepted a memorial wreath carried by state FFA and 4-H youth leaders on behalf of the family members. In the Capitol Extension Auditorium, a solemn memorial ceremony was attended by invited guests and family members of those being honored.

“Texas owes a debt of gratitude to these farmers and ranchers,” Commissioner Miller said. “Their commitment and sacrifice to produce the food and fiber we all need, is unparalleled . It is an honor to recognize these selfless and hard-working men and women whose daily dedication to agriculture contributes so much to our heritage and our economy. Today, we ask God to lift up the family members of those we lost, and to continue to bless all our farmers and ranchers across Texas.”

Texas Agriculture Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor the lives and sacrifices of our state’s farmers and ranchers. Joining Commissioner Miller today was event creator John Paul Dineen, III who lost his son to an agriculture-related accident and organized Texas Agriculture Memorial Day in his honor.

“Sometimes in agriculture there is more than just an economic cost to producing food and fiber to feed the world,” John Paul Dineen III said. “We are here today to honor these individuals and their families that have lost a father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, in producing the most affordable and safest food in the world. We want these families to know their loved one has not been forgotten.”

Among the individuals being recognized, eight individuals  ost their lives in an agriculture-related accident and seven will be posthumously honored for dedicating their life to agriculture.


William Ray Pankonien from College Station, Texas
Travis William Herring from Lometa, Texas
Marvin Schiel from Magnolia, Texas   
James Loran from Seymour, Texas
Cole Easton Gordon from Friendswood, Texas
Booker Franklin Foster from Kress, Texas
Clint Riddle from Italy, Texas                                                                     
Sue Boyd from Whitney, Texas 

Life of Service:

Walter Browning “Buddy” Banks from Waxahachie, Texas
Jessica Lynn Chance from Azle, Texas
Randy Justiss from Lancaster, Texas
Felipe G. Avila from Robstown, Texas                                                                   
Marcus “Mark” Hardinburg Brown from Sherman, Texas
Meagan Hooker from Italy, Texas
William Raymond Gorman from Italy, Texas   

Information courtesy of Texas Agriculture Commission

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