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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

Contact: Allen Spelce
R.J. DeSilva
(512) 463-4070

For Immediate Release
December 27, 2007

Comptroller Combs to Address Oxford Farming Conference


(AUSTIN) — Comptroller Susan Combs will begin the New Year in Oxford, England, where she will give the opening address at the 2008 Oxford Farming Conference. The theme of the Jan. 2-4 conference is “A Climate of Change.”

Combs will talk about the opportunities and challenges for farmers and ranchers in Texas and the U.S., touching on the economic value of agriculture; the spread of urban infrastructure and lifestyles to rural areas; changing technology; water supply issues; and the potential impacts of the movement to alternative energy sources such as wind power and plant-based fuels.

“Farmers face similar issues the world over,” Combs said. “Times are changing, agriculture is changing and farmers are reinventing their operations to survive and thrive in this new climate. At the state Comptroller’s office, we arm agricultural producers and rural leaders with information to help address critical issues, track economic and demographic trends and attract and retain businesses and jobs.”

Agriculture is the second-largest industry in Texas, generating an $85 billion economic impact and accounting for 9.5 percent of the gross state product. Texas ranks second in the nation in the value of its farm products.

“As a rancher and former Texas Agriculture Commissioner, I have first-hand experience with the many issues facing the agriculture community. I have worked hand-in-hand with agriculture producers, associations, rural leaders and other stakeholders to directly address these issues,” Combs said. “In my role as state Comptroller today, I continue to value and support the vital role of agriculture and our rural communities, especially in relation to Texas’ current and future economic health.”

The annual Oxford Farming Conference attracts more than 500 farmers, business leaders and government officials from the United Kingdom and around the world.

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