Reagan V. Brown

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Reagan Veasy Brown
Texas Agriculture Commissioner
In office
1977 – January 1983
Governor

Dolph Briscoe (1977–1979)

Bill Clements (1979–1983)
Preceded by John C. White
Succeeded by Jim Hightower
Personal details
Born (1921-09-21)September 21, 1921[1]
Henderson, Texas, U.S.
Died November 16, 1999(1999-11-16) (aged 78)
Brazos County, Texas, U.S.
Residence Brazos County, Texas
Alma mater Texas A&M University
Occupation Farmer;
County extension agent
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/wars World War II

Reagan Veasy Brown (September 20, 1921 – November 16, 1999) was the elected commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture from 1977 to 1983.

Early years[edit]

He was born on September 20, 1921, he lost a finger in an accident when he was young. Brown graduated from Texas A&M University in 1943. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.[citation needed]

Texas agriculture commissioner[edit]

Governor Dolph Briscoe appointed Brown to succeed longtime Agriculture Commissioner John C. White, when White resigned to serve in the Carter administration in Washington, D.C.

In 1978, Brown was elected under the new statute providing four-year terms for statewide elected officials. He was known for his fight for pest and predator control. To prevent the spread of the Mediterranean fruit fly from California to Texas in 1981, Brown required California produce to be fumigated before entering the state. Under special legislation passed during the fruit-fly crisis, the department was authorized to seize or to destroy infested products and to stop interstate and intrastate traffic to enforce the law.

Brown also worked to halt the spread of the imported fire ant. He even famously put his hand into a fire ant mound at the urging of a television reporter while news cameras rolled. However, his opponent in the 1982 Democratic primary election, the liberal journalist and commentator Jim Hightower, accused him of manufacturing the fire ant crisis to win reelection. Hightower unseated Brown in a heavily Democratic year in Texas and nationally. Eight years later Hightower was himself unseated by future Governor Rick Perry.

Lucky B Ranch[edit]

In 1983, Brown bought the Lucky B Ranch near Bryan, Texas. He bred bison, which were once plentiful in Texas but had since been hunted to near-extinction.[2]

Death[edit]

Brown died in a farm tractor accident at his ranch in Brazos County on November 16, 1999.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Texas state directory. 25. Texas Pub. Co. 1982. ISSN 0363-7530. Retrieved 2014-11-17. 
  2. ^ [1] Lucky B Bison Ranch|]
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard|
Political offices
Preceded by
John C. White
Texas Agriculture Commissioner
1977–1983
Succeeded by
Jim Hightower