Several members of the state’s largest farm organization will assist in the planning of future state highway projects following their selection to serve on the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) segment committees for the I-35 and I-69 highway corridors.
“Having a seat at the table of state highway planning projects will carry tremendous importance as our state’s population continues to grow,” said Kenneth Dierschke, a San Angelo cotton farmer and president of the Texas Farm Bureau. “These two highway corridors, in particular, were major battlegrounds in the past as TxDOT advanced its agenda for the ill-conceived Trans-Texas Corridor. Having our members in place will help ensure property owners and rural Texans have a voice in the process.”
Texas Farm Bureau has conducted a major effort since last summer to have TxDOT recognize the need to include “the very people who stand to lose property from highway expansion,” Dierschke said.
The segment committees—four for the I-35 corridor and five for I-69—are designed to allow for citizen input and advice in the planning process in each of the major highway projects. They will also offer guidance in the development of a master plan for both highway corridors.
Texas Farm Bureau members selected for the I-69 segment committee include TFB District 11 State Director Tom Paben, a Waller County Farm Bureau (CFB) member; Michael Meador, Nacogdoches CFB; Stephen Gertson, Wharton CFB; Troy Nedbalek, San Patricio CFB; and Pearson Knolle, Jim Wells CFB. Serving on I-35 segment committee are Kenneth Sicking, Cooke CFB; Marc Scott, McLennan CFB; Marilynn Dierschke, Travis CFB; and Ray Pfannstiel, Guadalupe CFB.