As the Texas Plant Protection Association prepares to celebrate its 25th annual conference, a bit of reminiscing might be in order.

One key to the success of the conference, organizers say, lies in the program, which includes abstracts of presentations for each of the 24 conferences. Reading through those abstracts offers a historical timeline of agricultural advancements over the past quarter century and also provides a list of Who’s Who in U.S. agriculture—or in some cases, who was who.

For instance, the first conference, back in January, 1990, featured former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz. Current American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman spoke at the second annual conference, which was also held in 1990, just 11 months after the first. Officials say the first conference was delayed until early 1990 due to scheduling conflicts.

The Fourth Conference, in 1992, featured Texas Rep. E. Kika de la Garza, former House Agriculture Committee chairman, who discussed the North American Free Trade Agreement. Texas Agriculture Commissioners Susan Combs and Todd Staples have each been on the agenda, as have several USDA undersecretaries.

The late Dr. Norman Borlaug, Nobel Prize winner, spoke on the importance of biotechnology to feed the world at the 15th annual conference.


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Ag industry leaders from inside Texas as well as from across the nation discussed policy, new products and emerging technology. Farmers, vendors, and even journalists have offered their experience and opinions on topics ranging from “there is an app for that,” to “here’s the best way to apply that.”