Hays County Commissioners Court Signs Resolution to Continue Talks for Youth Ag Facility at Freeman Ranch
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday to officially support continued dialog to develop a Youth Agricultural Education and Research Facility at Texas State University’s Freeman Ranch. Members of the Court plan to meet with Texas State University System regents in February to discuss how a youth agricultural events center fits the conditions of Harry Freeman’s will. The Freeman Ranch – totaling about 3,500 acres – is held in trust and operated by the University and Frost National Bank pursuant to the wishes of Mr. Freeman.
“I’m encouraged by our opportunity to meet with regents and other officials to discuss concerns and come up with a solution that makes this a win-win-win – for students, the university and the community,” County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., said. “It’s rare that a solution can’t be found when people sit down to discuss an idea face-to-face.”
“We stand to lose the ability to successfully produce agricultural leaders for our farms and ranches if our young people who are interested in those careers don’t have the opportunity to learn as they grow and become invested in agriculture,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley. “While initially the University has been hesitant to discuss this endeavor because of concerns about the directions in Mr. Freeman’s will, we believe that youth agricultural education is a good fit with the ‘farm, ranch, game management, educational and experimental purposes’ we understand to be required by the will.”
During the Commissioners Court meeting, San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero also spoke in favor of locating the facility at the Freeman Ranch, noting that the concept fits in well with the City’s Youth Master Plan. He said he also plans to ask the City Council to approve a similar resolution soon.
An advisory board formed by the Commissioners Court to find or build a facility for youth agriculture events to replace the now-closed Hays County Civic Center endorses locating the facility on the Freeman Ranch, according to Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones. “Our Civic Center, built in the 1970s, was no longer adequate and in need of much improvement,” Jones said. “The advisory board, with members from the agricultural and business community, led an exhaustive search for a new site and believes the Freeman Ranch to be an excellent choice. There’s a great opportunity here for young students to learn from university students and instructors, and vice versa.”