Watch our Nov. 12-13 symposium on rural Texas, and include your community in the conversation

Jacob Villanueva/The Texas Tribune
Jacob Villanueva/The Texas Tribune

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 event will also feature a keynote conversation and reception with state legislators from across Texas on the rural agenda heading into the 86th legislative session.

Learn more about the event — happening Nov. 12-13 in College Station — here and view the schedule of livestreamed events below.

We also want to hear from you.

In tandem with this live event, the Tribune has produced a Community Conversations Toolkit on Texas rural issues to help you bring the event to your community and catalyze a constructive dialogue on the most pressing issues for rural Texas communities. This involves fostering spaces where community leaders, neighbors, local business officials and other stakeholders can connect with one another, share stories and reach possible solutions.

We know that many Texans interested in these issues may not be able to travel to College Station nor be able to view the livestream or video. That’s why we’ve created the “Future of Rural Texas Watch Party and Community Conversation Toolkit” — a step-by-step guide to hosting event watch parties in your community and sparking meaningful conversations on how issues discussed at the event impact you. We hope this toolkit will help you convene these conversations.

Download our “Future of Rural Texas Watch Party and Community Conversation Toolkit” here.

If you’re thinking about hosting a watch party or community conversation in your community in tandem with this event, please let us know by filling out this brief form so we can share your event with our readers. All we ask is that you report back to us on the outcome of your discussions.

Livestream schedule for the Future of Rural Texas Symposium:

Monday, Nov. 12

6 to 7:15 p.m.

The 86th Legislature and the Rural Agenda

Featuring state Reps. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin; Drew Darby, R-San Angelo; Mary González, D-Clint; Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass; and Four Price, R-Amarillo. Moderated by Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

8:20 to 8:40 a.m.

Setting the Table: What is Rural Texas?

Featuring Tom Luce, founder and chairman of Texas 2036

Tuesday, Nov. 13

8:45 to 9:05 a.m.

Public Opinion and Rural Texas

Featuring Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project

Tuesday, Nov. 13

9:15 to 10:05 a.m.

Educating the Next Generation

Featuring Kim Alexander, superintendent of the Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District; former House Public Education Committee Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen; Sylvia Leal, senior program officer for education and economic development at the T.L.L. Temple Foundation; and Cheryl Sparks, president of Howard College. Moderated by Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

10:15 to 11:05 a.m.

Investing in Infrastructure

Featuring Will Conley, chairman of CAMPO and a former Hays County commissioner; state Rep. Ben Leman, R-Anderson; state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, the House Transportation Committee chair; and 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.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.

Preserving Natural Resources

Featuring Blair Fitzsimons, CEO of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust; Marilu Hastings, vice president, sustainability programs at the Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation; state Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-College Station; and 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.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

12:40 to 1:35 p.m.

The View from Rural Communities

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

Tuesday, Nov. 13

1:45 to 2:15 p.m.

The State of the Rural Economy

Featuring Glenn Hegar, Texas comptroller of public accounts

Tuesday, Nov. 13

2:25 to 3:15 p.m.

Building an Economic Future

Featuring 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; and Ines Polonius, CEO of Communities Unlimited. Moderated by Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

3:25 to 4:15 p.m.

Ensuring Rural Health

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



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