Saying he has a “passion for rural Texas,” Palo Pinto County rancher and veterinarian Glenn Rogers spoke recently in Brownwood about his candidacy for the Texas House District 60 seat.
Rogers will run in the March 3 Republican Party primary election.
Incumbent Mike Lang and another challenger, Granbury attorney Kellye SoRelle, are also running in the Republican Party primary.
“I’m very concerned about rural Texas and some of the challenges of rural communities,” Rogers said. “I especially have a real interest in rural health care, public education and building infrastructure in some of our rural communities that’s been lost. “We’ve had a talent drain in a lot of our communities. We need to restore our rural communities and have them growing and thriving. I think the future of America depends on a strong rural America and the future of rural America depends on rural Texas. That’s generally why I decided to run.”
Elaborating on what he sees as a talent drain, Rogers said there are communities in need of professionals including veterinarians, doctors, teachers and plumbers, “just all kinds of positions where there’s a shortage.”
Rogers said he became interested in the race while serving as president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, a cattle veterinary group. “We’re deeply interested and concerned with the lack of veterinarians in certain rural areas because of their importance to those rural communities (and) their importance to food security,” Rogers said. “(They are) the first-line defense against foreign animal disease, those kind of things.
“But as you explore that, it’s really not a shortage of veterinarians. There’s a shortage of rural communities that can attract and support veterinarians and other professionals. That got me really interested in looking beyond veterinary medicine and looking (at) what we need to do in rural America.”
Rogers said Brownwood is “a shining example of what a good rural community can be.”
Rogers said he believes he is qualified for the state office because he has had “a very diverse career. Even though my career has primarily been in veterinary medicine, it’s been in many aspects of veterinary medicine.
“As a practice owner, I learned how to manage a small business. Even though I was in private practice, you’re essentially like a public servant, working 24/7 in some cases and always at the beck and call of your clients.”
Rogers also said he had a career as an educator, having served as an associate professor in a veterinary college.
“So I got experience as an educator and and as a researcher, which are both, I think, important qualities (for) serving in the Legislature and being able to communicate information back to your constituents.”
Rogers said has had a third career — in the corporate world. He said he worked for Pfizer Animal Health for 12 years.
“And in that experience I think again I was an educator, just a different audience,” Rogers said. “I also spent a lot of time in large cities, and although I’d rather be in the country — I’d rather be in a rural area — I think I have the ability to transfer what’s going in rural Texas to people who don’t understand rural Texas.”
Roger said he’s tied to Mineral Wells, where the revitalization of that city has “been really inspiring,” Rogers said. “People are excited about what’s happening.”
While not all small communities are going to be destination cities for tourism, every rural community “has something that they can grow and build on and bring more people into the community,” Rogers said.
Rogers and his wife, Mandy, who is also a veterinarian, are the parents of three daughters and a son. They have five grandchildren.