Whitehouse, Texas , United States
|| 00, 1959
Jan 22, 2019 01:43pm
Caucasian - Government Reform - Health Care Reform - Pro Environment - Pro- gun - Pro-Capital Punishment - Pro-Choice - Pro-Civil Unions - Pro-Term Limits - Married - Straight -
|Info||Hank Gilbert started working on his family’s cattle ranch in northeast Texas when he was just 10 years old. It was there, on the fertile sandy-loam soils of his family’s ranch, that he learned the values of responsibility and accountability and developed a true appreciation of agriculture. |
It is this appreciation that motivated Hank to run for the office of Agriculture Commissioner in 2006. Hank gave the political world a surprise in his first run for Agriculture Commissioner carrying 46 counties in the State of Texas, many of which had not been carried by a Democrat in years, and garnered the highest vote total of any statewide executive race on the ballot.
Since 2006, Hank hasn’t stopped fighting for Texas; criss crossing the state and even going to Washington, D.C. to stand up for the people of Texas and their rights. Hank worries the decline of Texas agriculture in recent years and the erosion of those values he learned as a young man can be attributed to “career politicians,” rather than true agriculturists, being at the helm of the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Hank earned his bachelors degree in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M, where he was the Student Council representative for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and was also a recruiter for the Agricultural Education Department. Upon graduation, Hank was hired to teach high school agriculture in East Texas where he worked for 13 years. Since leaving the teaching profession, Hank has continued to work with agricultural youth, both as a volunteer 4-H leader in his community and with the local FFA chapter. In 2005, Hank created the East Texas Jr. Invitational Livestock Expo in Smith County, Texas. To date, this show has awarded over $75,000 in scholarships to its participants to support their educational pursuits.
Hank believes the solution for protecting and developing Texas’ agriculture productivity is to elect leadership that offers fresh ideas with a solution-based approach for tomorrow’s challenges, increase markets for Texas products around the world, create more diversified member-owned cooperatives and develop “out-of-the-box” agricultural products for exportable food and renewable energy. Hank has spent the last few years traveling in and out of the country researching and learning about products to create new agricultural industries in the state and job opportunities for rural Texans.
Hank served as director of the Texas Simmental/Simbrah Association and is the immediate past President of Walnut Grove Water Supply, a 2500 member-owned cooperative. As its president, he cut operational expenses and reduced member’s water rates by 35%, while still making the necessary improvements to the system. He also currently serves as President of the Pineywoods Sub-regional Planning Commission, a state-recognized 391-member commission formed to force state agencies, such as the Texas Department of Transportation, and federal agencies, like the EPA, to coordinate with local entities on projects that could have an adverse effect on their communities.
To fulfill one of Hank’s 2006 campaign promises he, along with Terri Hall of San Antonio, formed a non-profit statewide organization, TURF (Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom). By joining forces with other nonprofit foundations from across the country, TURF has been instrumental in raising public awareness about the Trans-Texas Corridor (NAFTA Superhighway) projects in Texas, and fights daily for private property rights and against eminent domain abuse. He made a promise to the people of Texas to fight for these things on their behalf, and he was raised to be a man of his word.
Hank was born in Houston, Texas in 1959, but by age 10 his family had made their permanent home at a 150- head cattle ranch just east of Tyler. Today, Hank and his wife, Karla, and their two sons, Peyton and Cody, own and operate Peyco’s Land and Cattle where they raise and market registered Simbrah cattle. Peyton and Cody exhibit their cattle at fairs and exhibitions throughout Texas and the southern U.S. with the FFA. Hank’s hope is the next generation of Texans, like Peyton and Cody, will grow up with a true appreciation of the legacy that is Texas agriculture.