Mills continues family tradition
South Central Texas Independent Cattlemen’s Association President Brad Cotton (right) welcomes Bryan Mills Jan. 20 to the executive board of the local chapter. Mills is the third generation of his family to serve as a director of the local organization.
FLORESVILLE -- In the best ag tradition of handing down the family farm or ranch to succeeding generations, Bryan Mills of Floresville has been elected as a director of the local chapter of the Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas. This makes him the third generation of the Mills family to represent the cattle industry in Wilson County.
Bryan, the grandson of Novelle Mills and the late Robert Mills, was present in 2005 when the South Central Texas Independent Cattlemen’s Association (SCTICA) was formed. This organization replaced the Wilson County Chapter of ICA formed in 1974 by Bryan’s grandparents and their daughter, Loretta Mills Hartmann, who served as the secretary-treasurer. Bryan is the son of Marvin and Lauren Mills.
Mills replaced Joe Corolla, who did not seek re-election to the board.
Directors re-elected at the Jan. 20 meeting, held in the American Legion Hall in Floresville, were Brad Cotton and Larry Wiley of Wilson County and Jim Marsh, representing Atascosa County.
Another new face on the executive board is Keith Lubianski of Floresville. He was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Mike Terry, who resigned, after being elected in 2010 for a three-year term.
With new directors also came a change in the executive committee. Cotton took over the reins from Richard L. “Dickie” Jackson to become the new president, while Jackson replaced Cotton as vice president. Directors re-elected include secretary Susan Gonzales and treasurer Larry Wiley. The last member of the executive board is A.L. “Windy” Miller, director emeritus. Cotton, Jackson, and Wiley represent Wilson County, while Gonzales and Miller represent Atascosa County.
Others directors of the SCTICA board are Laurie Miller and Gus Gonzales of Atascosa County and Alton and Pat Kuykendall of Wilson County.
The evening also included a dinner, door prizes, and guest speakers from the state level of the organization.
ICA President Rosalee Coleman spoke of the average age of ranchers, 65 to 68, and the need for young people to stand up for the industry. She encouraged the cattlemen to get involved in the legislative process by speaking to their representatives about bills being considered.
ICA Executive Director W.V. “Bill” Hyman discussed the current state budget deficit. Avenues to address the shortfall include fees to the ag industry, an increase in the gas and sales taxes, state fees, and licenses, he said.
Eminent domain will again be addressed by the state Legislature, Hyman said, adding that the bill defeated four years ago will be reintroduced.
Hyman spoke of the ag industry’s “Pandora’s Box” -- the formation of an ag group such as the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, regarding animal-care standards.
Hyman underlined the importance for farmers and ranchers to belong to an organization to voice their needs and concerns, especially at a time when there is less rural representation on Capitol Hill when agricultural issues are being discussed.
“It is all about surviving,” Hyman concluded.