April 23, 2018


Representative Guillen Secures Funding For South Texas Ranchers


AUSTIN – Representative Ryan Guillen (D – Rural South Texas) is no stranger to cattle ticks and cattle fever. As a rancher himself, Guillen knows firsthand the danger cattle fever ticks impose on herds and the livelihoods of ranching families. Though there is more to be accomplished, he is proud of the recent progress Texas has made to combat this issue and of the resources available to ranchers.


"Cattle ranching is a big part of life in South Texas. It’s part of our economy, our culture, our heritage,” Guillen said. “We’ve got to be proactive in order to protect our herds, and ultimately our way of life. What we accomplished last year was a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done."


Fever ticks have been plaguing Texas ranchers and their herds for generations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the disease decimated herds in Texas, which consequently dealt a huge blow to the US ranching industry at that time. Since then, the Texas Animal Health Commission and the US Department of Agriculture have worked cooperatively to prevent and stem outbreaks. There is a permanent quarantine zone in parts of South Texas, but ranchers in counties outside of this zone, such as Willacy, Live Oak, and Kennedy, can apply for grants from the USDA and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to gather and treat cattle to treat and prevent fever ticks.


Guillen has long been a fervent supporter of Texas ranchers. In 2017, Guillen secured millions of dollars to fight fever ticks. He also authored HB 967 in 2007, which provided financial relief to ranchers and other landowners whose land had to be placed under quarantine due to infestation of fever ticks. He is pleased that the USDA and NRCS are joining his efforts to fight fever ticks with grants to help ranchers keep their cattle contained. In the next session, he plans to pursue more legislation to protect Texas ranchers and their livestock.


"We need to make sure that ranchers whose livestock are affected do not lost their ag exemption when they cease ranch operations to treat their cattle," said Guillen.  


Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at,, and