By JESSIE HORTON
Stephenville native Sid Miller was sworn in as the newest Texas State Commissioner of Agriculture last week, and during his inaugural speech named several influential Texans to his Advisory Council.
One of those members isn’t just a Texan, he’s a Tarleton Texan!
Colton Buckley, a junior at Tarleton State University from Gatesville, served Miller as campaign manager during some of his campaigns. Another Stephenville representative on the advisory council is local businessman Brad Allen, who has also worked closely with Miller in the past.
Buckley, who is an Agriculture Services and Development major with a concentration on industries and agencies and a minor in Political Science, took a few minutes to talk to The Flash about his appointment to the council.
“I honestly had no clue I was even being considered,” Buckley said. “I had gone to Austin to see Sid (Miller) take his oath of office, and didn’t know until he said my name that I’d be on the council.”
After the announcement of the Advisory Council, members met privately before leaving Austin. Buckley said Miller has assembled a group of influential and experienced leaders to help him make important decisions that will affect the state for years to come. Buckley’s role on the council is to help bridge the gap between the youth in the state of Texas and the agricultural community.
“I think I’m here to help get important information from the ag commissioner’s office to the young people in the agricultural community, and help the commissioner’s office better understand what the youth in the community needs,” Buckley said. “I mean, the average age of the Texas farmer is 60, and yet there are colleges and universities across the state, like Tarleton, where agriculture is a huge focus. A big thing for me will be helping to figure out how best to bridge that gap.”
It’s not as if Buckley isn’t already busy. Not only is he a full-time student at Tarleton, but he also serves as the youngest appointee in Governor Rick Perry’s administration (the longest serving Governor in Texas history) to the Texas A&M Board of Regents. He’s also the first Tarleton appointee to the board and is serving a one-year term that will expire May 31, 2015.
Buckley founded the Young Conservatives of Texas at Tarleton, and is a past chairman. He is a member of the Tarleton Economics Society and the Tarleton Wildlife Society, and has previously served in Tarleton’s Student Government Association’s House of Representatives
“I think what Sid said in his speech is so applicable to how his advisory board will approach everything we do,” Buckley said. “And that’s – ‘in Texas, agriculture touches each and every one of our lives every day. When you buy gas for your car, eggs or milk for breakfast, your children’s school lunches and so many other ways. And we’re going to do our best to make each of those connections to agriculture the best representation they can be.’”
But this isn’t something that’s just a great opportunity for him, Buckley said.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for Tarleton and, really, students across the state,” he said. “I mean, we have a commissioner of agriculture who wants us to have representation. We have a champion in this state for not only us, but the next generation of Texas youth in office. I’m excited about this, it’s an exciting thing and an exciting time.”
A full list of Commissioner Miller’s Advisory Council:
-Brad Allen, local Stephenville businessman
-Bill Callegari, former state representative
-Warren Chisum, former state representative
-Pierre De Wet
-Lt. General Paul E. Funk, Ret.
-Lillie Gilligan, Water Rights Activist
-J. Walt Hagood
-Sylvia Hernandez Maddox
-Donlie McMullin, rural real estate broker
-Lance Morris, mega real estate broker
-Capt. Bob Prince, Former Texas Rangers Captain (Law Enforcement)
-Elivira Reyna, former state representative
-Allan Ritter, former state representative
-Todd M. Smith, Commissioner’s Advisory Council Chairman
-Red Seagall, World Famous Cowboy