TEMPLE – The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) held a board meeting on Thursday, May 16, 2019, during the meeting action was taken to elect a Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the board.
Barry Mahler of Iowa Park was elected as Chairman of the TSSWCB. He previously served as Vice-Chairman of the board for the past two years. Mahler, who has been a member of the TSSWCB since May of 2007, is a businessman as well as a cotton and wheat farmer. Mahler also serves Precinct 3 on the Wichita County Commissioner’s Court and is a reporter for the Texas Farm Bureau Roundup, a weekly farm radio program.
Mahler has been a District Director on the Wichita Soil and Water Conservation District for the past 39 years. He has previously served as President of the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts and a former Alternate Director of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Board of Directors. Barry and his wife Sheri have two sons, Braden and Matthew.
"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 Mahler.
Marty H. Graham of Rocksprings was elected as Vice-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 as the Area II Director. He has also serves as a director with the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association and the Mohair Council of America.
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. His daughter Jordyn and her husband, Joshua have two daughters, Addyson and Emersyn. Marty is a graduate of Texas Tech University.
Joining Mahler and Graham on the TSSWCB are Scott Buckles of Stratford, José Dodier Jr., of Zapata, David Basinger of Deport, 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.