Annex Room G

Future of Rural Texas Syposium post watch gathering at the Library Annex. Featuring a pannel of speakers on video.

No registration is required, light refreshments, lemonaide and coffee will be served.


For two days in November, The Texas Tribune will sit down with top lawmakers, advocates, local officials and more at Texas A&M University for a symposium on rural policy and affairs in Texas. Join us as we dive into the future of rural education, health care, natural resource preservation and infrastructure investment, and as we explore the political climate in rural Texas and the state's economic future.

The schedule of showing is repeated both Friday and Saturday, November 16 and 17. Come for some or all of the sessions.

10:00-10:20am - Setting the Table: What is Rural Texas?

  •  Tom Luce, founder and chairman of Texas 2036

10:25- 10:45am - Public Opinion and Rural Texas

  • Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project

10:50-11:40 am - Educating the Next Generation

  • Kim Alexander, superintendent of the Roscoe Independent School District
  • Jimmie Don Aycock, former state Rep. and former chair of the House Public Education Committee
  • Sylvia Leal, senior program officer for Education and Economic Development at the T.L.L Temple Foundation
  • Cheryl Sparks, president of Howard College
  • Moderated by Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune

11:45am-12:35pm - Investing in Infrastructure

  • Will Conley, chairman of CAMPO and a former Hays County commissioner
  • State Rep. Ben Leman, R-Anderson, and former Grimes County judge
  • State Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria and chair of the House Transportation Committee
  • Bill Stockton, executive associate agency director for the Interdisciplinary Research Group at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute
  • Moderated by Brandon Formby, urban affairs reporter for The Texas Tribune

12:40-1:30pm - Preserving Natural Resources

  • Blair Fitzsimons, CEO of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust
  • Marilu Hastings, vice president for sustainability at the Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation
  • State Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-College Station
  • Roel Lopez, director of the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute
  • Moderated by Andrew Sansom, executive director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University

1:35-2:25pm - The View from Rural Communities

  • Donnie Allred, Oldham County judge
  • Shelley Brophy, mayor of Nacogdoches
  • Alma Moreno, San Patricio County commissioner
  • Ramiro Rodriguez, mayor of Palmhurst
  • Moderated by Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune

2:30-3:00pm - The State of the Rural Economy

  • Glenn Hegar, Texas comptroller of public accounts

3:05-3:55pm - Building an Economic Future

  • Becky Garlick, executive dean of Blinn College
  • Arleene Loyd, executive director of the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation
  • Joe Outlaw, professor and extension economist in the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University
  • Ines Polonius, CEO of Communities Unlimited
  • Moderated by Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune

4:00-4:50pm Ensuring Rural Health

  • John Henderson, president and CEO of the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals
  • Susan Rushing, CEO of Burke
  • State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown
  • State Rep. J.D. Sheffield, R-Gatesville
  • Moderated by Marissa Evans, health and human services policy reporter for The Texas Tribune


This is an independantly organized event inspired by reporting from the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans and engages with them about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.




Saturday, November 17, 2018
12:40pm - 1:30pm
MFPL Annex
Adult, General

Event Organizer

Bethanie Corder