84R6826 BPG-F
  By: King of Uvalde H.R. No. 254
         WHEREAS, Texas has the nation's largest rural population, and
  rural concerns are of enormous importance to the Lone Star State;
         WHEREAS, Today, 3.2 million Texans, or 16 percent, live in
  rural areas; of the 254 counties in Texas, 172 are rural, and rural
  land totals 142 million acres, representing 84 percent of total
  land area; and
         WHEREAS, Our state leads the country in the number of farms
  and ranches, which cover 130.2 million acres, and small rural
  telephone cooperatives and companies provide service to over half
  the geographic area; and
         WHEREAS, Texas has more women and minority farm operations
  than any other state, and almost a third of the population in rural
  counties is 65 or older; reflecting the deep patriotism of the
  countryside, the majority of the nation's military men and women
  hail from rural backgrounds; and
         WHEREAS, Such essential products as food, fuel, and fiber are
  among those originating in rural Texas, but although rural
  operations contribute billions to the Texas economy, rural families
  typically earn only 48 percent of what metropolitan workers earn;
         WHEREAS, While the rural population may be decreasing, rural
  people continue to demonstrate resolve and determination, as well
  as love for family, faith, and country, and the future of this state
  and nation depends in large part on the vibrancy and prosperity of
  our rural communities; and
         WHEREAS, A special legislative day provides a most fitting
  occasion to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of
  rural citizens, businesses, and industries; now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 84th Texas
  Legislature hereby recognize February 3, 2015, as Rural Matters Day
  in Texas and express its gratitude and appreciation for the myriad
  contributions of rural Texans.