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Songs To Help Kinky Friedman Learn What the Texas Agriculture Commissioner Does

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Musician, author, animal-rights activist (and probably a couple of other titles we're leaving out) Kinky Friedman announced Monday he was withdrawing as a candidate for governor in next March's Democratic primary and instead seeking the office of Agriculture Commissioner, a post previously held by homespun liberal gadfly Jim Hightower and our current governor, Rick "Screw Term Limits" Perry. The Agriculture Commissioner heads the Texas Department of Agriculture, which is in charge of a lot more than farms and farming - everything from pesticide regulations to administering the National School Lunch Program in Texas, the Broadband for All Texans program and anything related to weights and measures. In other words, should Friedman defeat incumbent Ag Commissioner Todd Staples (who even has his own blog) next November, he's going to have his hands full. After poking around on the TDA's Web site for a while this morning, Rocks Off thought we'd come up with a few songs to help Friedman start learning about his prospective duties.

">Clifton Chenier, "I'm a Hog for You, Baby": Texas has almost two million feral hogs, the largest such population in the nation, which "wreak havoc on property, livestock, crops and pastures across the state and frustrate landowners because of their destructive nature." The Texas AgriLife Extension Survey estimates feral hogs cause $51.7 million in economic damage every year.

Ann Peebles, "I Can't Stand the Rain": 162 of Texas 254 counties - including Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Waller, Austin, Grimes, Washington, Matagorda, Wharton and Victoria - are currently designated as being under drought status.

Beastie Boys, "Egg Raid on Mojo": These are the proper storage requirements for eggs in the state of Texas, according to the Texas Egg Law (Texas Administrative Code, Title 4, Part 1, Rule 15-7):

a) To prevent undue deterioration, all packed eggs shall be stored under refrigeration at a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit or less; provided, however, that any different temperature standard adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture and the federal Food and Drug Administration shall prevail. Such eggs shall be transported and held in areas that are clean and sanitary, and shall not be stored or transported with or adjacent to any contaminating source or materials.

b) Eggs which are shipped across the state line into Texas shall be transported under refrigerated conditions at the same temperature as required by subsection (a) of this section.

c) All eggs obtained or purchased from a broker or the mercantile trade exchange must be identified by a lot number affixed to the end of the egg case when first placed in storage. The person that takes first possession of these eggs after receiving them in this state shall be liable for compliance with this subsection and also shall be liable for payment of the fee as prescribed by §15.5 of this title (relating to Special Fees). Upon receiving these eggs, the same person will be held responsible for the proper labeling of these eggs to comply with these rules and the Texas Egg Law.

Emmylou Harris, "Two More Bottles of Wine": The TDA has administered the Enology and Viticulture Research and Education Grant program, which provides funding for viticulture (grape-growing), enology (the study of wine) and wine-marketing research, since 2006. Aspiring Texas vintners can download a proposal guide here.

Kinky Friedman, "Get Your Biscuits In the Oven and Your Buns In the Bed": Of course we had to include one of the Kinkster's own songs. Here are the duties of the TDA's grain warehouse inspectors:

"A TDA grain warehouse inspector will inspect the licensed grain elevator for inventory amounts and report those amounts to the program. The inspector will specify the commodities in storage and verify the warehouseman's records pertaining to these commodities. The inspector will measure the commodities in storage and check it against the warehouseman's records. If there is a shortage in excess of 3 percent, the warehouseman must reconcile the shortage."

Good luck, Kinky...

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