Ranching & Agriculture

Today, approximately 77 percent of the total land in Texas is dedicated to farming. Yet even as a leader of agricultural production, the state suffered significant agricultural losses due to its tumultuous weather. Persistent flooding in the central and southern regions of Texas hit crop harvesting and livestock production the hardest, sweeping away entire plants, ruining valuable topsoil, and spreading disease. Hurricanes and tornadoes cleared out entire centers of agricultural production, including the manpower required to sustain them. Long periods of drought forced workers off their properties in search of more promising land. This history of drought, flood, hurricanes, and tornadoes pushed individual farmers as well as the state of Texas at large to identify proactive solutions to protect livestock, crops, and farm structures from future devastation. Measures range from implementing government policy—such as the soil conservation efforts made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the wake of the Dust Bowl—to educating individual farmers on how to create their own disaster preparedness programs.

Watch the films below to learn about how specific disasters impacted agribusiness within the state of Texas.