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South Texas farmer calls for more people to embrace farming

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by By Berenice Garcia, The – 2024-06-20 13:00:00

SUMMARY: In Harlingen, Texas, Diana Padilla leads a nonprofit, HOPE (Holistic Organic Practical Education), to support small local farmers. As economic development driven by population growth pressures private farms to convert their land, Padilla promotes sustainable farming practices. With a $7.4 million USDA grant, she aims to purchase 100 acres to help new farmers start. Padilla's efforts focus on teaching renewable energy use and growing affordable, organic produce. As farmland in Texas faces fragmentation and conversion, she stresses the need for financial and educational support for new farmers to sustain the agriculture sector amid rapid urban and industrial expansion.

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Diana Padilla meets with staff members to discuss programs for community members interested in starting their own farms at Yahweh's All Natural Farm and Gardens in Harlingen on June 15, 2024. Diana and her husband Saul Padilla own Yahweh's and the non-profit HOPE (Holistic Organic Practical Education for small farm sustainability).

Left: Educational farming material at Yahweh's All Natural Farm and Gardens. Right: Dairon De La Torre Gamboa assists a customer at the farm's market. Dairon is originally from Cuba and helps out with different tasks on the farm such as harvesting produce and assisting customers in the market.

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An aerial view of Yahweh's All Natural Farm and Gardens in Harlingen on June 15, 2024.

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Left: Chickens eat feed during morning rounds. Right: Dairon De La Torre Gamboa holds a Cuban butternut squash grown on the farm.

Kareli Padilla and Saul Padilla fill a container with chicken feed at Yahweh's All Natural Farm and Gardens in Harlingen on June 15, 2024.

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Diana Padilla talks to a community member interested in programs at Yahweh's All Natural Farm and Gardens in Harlingen on June 15, 2024. Diana and her husband Saul Padilla own Yahweh's and the non-profit HOPE (Holistic Organic Practical Education for small farm sustainability).

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The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Texas Tribune

Colin Allred outraises Ted Cruz in latest quarter

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by By Isaac Yu, The – 2024-07-15 18:19:15

SUMMARY: U.S. Rep. Colin Allred's campaign raised $10.5 million in the second quarter of 2024, surpassing Sen. Ted Cruz's $7.9 million, though Cruz holds a larger campaign warchest at $12.1 million. National Democrats support Allred, but significant funding has yet to be allocated, despite tight polling. In other , the article includes details on voter registration and election dates for Texas, emphasizing the importance of civic engagement. The Texas Tribune also highlighted upcoming events and notable speakers at The Texas Tribune Festival. The site is testing AI-powered tools for audio narration and invites readers to participate in a survey on AI usage.

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Uvalde sheriff and school district ordered to release Robb Elementary records

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by By Alejandro Serrano, The – 2024-07-15 13:56:56

SUMMARY: A Texas district court ruled that the Uvalde school district and sheriff's office must release records related to the Robb Elementary School shooting, including police body camera footage and 911 calls. This judgment, deemed a victory for government transparency by media lawyers, stems from a lawsuit filed after repeated denials of open-records requests following the May 24, 2022 shooting. The shooting, which claimed 21 lives, was marked by numerous police failures. The judge's ruling mandates the release of documents by July 28. Similar records from the Department of Public Safety remain unreleased due to ongoing appeals.

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GOP-led states have sent hundreds of troops to Texas border

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by By Marisa Demarco, States Newsroom, The – 2024-07-15 05:00:00

SUMMARY: In February, Republican governors, responding to Texas Governor Greg Abbott's call, pledged to send more National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to address what they termed “President Joe Biden's border crisis.” This commitment follows a period of increased migrant encounters amid changing federal policies, despite a significant drop in January. Critics argue these troop deployments are more about political theatrics than practical solutions. States have provided varying amounts of personnel and funding for these operations, often facing criticism for diverting resources from local needs. Abbott's costly Operation Lone Star has seen extensive National Guard involvement but faces scrutiny for its effectiveness and impact on readiness.

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Gov. Greg Abbott arrives at a press conference with Republican governors from several other states at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass on Feb. 04, 2024.

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Two Ohio National Guard soldiers walk past a group of detained migrants in Eagle Pass on Sept. 12, 2023.

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