TEMPLE – The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) held a board meeting on Thursday, July 15, 2021, during the meeting action was taken to elect a Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the board.
Marty H. Graham of Rocksprings was elected as Chairman of the TSSWCB. He was elected to the board representing Area II in 2008. In addition to his work on the board, he is Chairman of the Upper Nueces-Frio Soil and Water Conservation District and has been a member of since 1988.
Graham previously served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts (ATSWCD) as the Area II Director. Currently, he has also serves as a director of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association, the Mohair Council of America and as an Edwards County Commissioner for Precinct 1.
Since 1982, Marty has been raising Brangus cattle as well as Angora and Boer goats on the family ranch in Edwards County. He also runs a hunting operation on the ranch, hunting white-tailed deer, turkey, and exotics. Marty and his wife, Joyce, have three children, Grayson, Tristan and Jordyn. His son Tristan, and his wife Rachel have one daughter, Aubree and one son, Liam. His daughter Jordyn and her husband, Joshua have two daughters, Addyson and Emersyn and one son, Jedidiah. Marty is a graduate of Texas Tech University.
"I am honored to serve alongside a great group of board members, pursuing an important mission. We will work hard to provide our local Soil and Water Conservation Districts and landowners across Texas the tools they need to protect and conserve the natural resources of this great state,” said Graham.
David Basinger of Deport was elected as Vice-Chairman of the TSSWCB. He was elected to the board in 2018 to represent Area IV which is made up of 52 counties in East Texas. In addition to his work with the State Board, he has served on the Lamar Soil and Water Conservation District since 2002, where he is currently chairman. He is also a former vice president on the board of directors of the ATSWCD and president of the Northeast Texas Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
In other areas of leadership, Basinger has served on the Prairieland School Board for over 20 years, is a member of the Lamar County Farm Bureau and Deport Cemetery Board as well as a past member of the Lamar-Delta Levee Improvement District. Basinger runs 3,200 acres in the Sulphur River Bottom where he farms corn, soybeans and hay. He and his wife of 39 years, Connie, have two children, Matthew and Christopher. He also has two granddaughters.
Joining Graham and Basinger on the TSSWCB are Scott Buckles of Stratford, José Dodier Jr., of Zapata, Barry Mahler of Iowa Park, Tina Y. Buford of Harlingen and Carl Ray Polk, Jr. of Lufkin.
Established by the Texas Legislature in 1939, the TSSWCB is governed by seven board members, all of which are actively involved in agriculture or silviculture. Five of the board members are voted in by a delegation of their local peers, and two board members are appointed by the Governor of Texas.
TSSWCB works in conjunction with local SWCDs across Texas to encourage the wise and productive use of natural resources. TSSWCB is the lead agency for planning, implementing, and managing coordinated natural resource conservation programs for preventing and abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint sources of water pollution. TSSWCB also works to ensure that the State’s network of over 2,000 flood control dams are protecting lives and property by providing operation, maintenance, and structural repair grants to local government sponsors.