Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller says speaking to people here on the High Plains is like talking to his own hometown.
“I’m an 8th generation farmer and rancher,” says Miller. “So I really connect, these are my people. You don’t have to live in the same county to know their lifestyle and the rural heritage in the background, and the family values that rural Texas has.”
Today he visited with first responders and officials at Red River Steakhouse in McLean. It’s the first time he has visited since last month’s wildfires.
Officials we spoke with are glad he made the visit when he did.
Gray County Sheriff Michael Ryan says, “It feels good to see the people up in the state offices actually do care. It’s good to see somebody in person instead of a phone call or email.”
During his visit, Miller flew over the areas damaged last month.
“The first thing you notice is the land is just void of cattle,” says Miller. “The livestock, for the most part, is not there anymore, it’s either dead or gone. So, it’s going to take awhile to replace that. There are hundreds of thousands of acres in this fire.”
One rancher says he is astounded by the amount of help that has poured in.
Ronnie Ferguson, who lost 3,000 acres due to the fires says, “The relief effort has been amazing. The generosity, people have given hay, fencing material, horse and cow feed, everything that we need. It’s just been poured in from all over the country.”