Texas Ag Commissioner to Give ASU Fall Commencement Address
December 01, 2010
Staples will address graduates of the College of Business and the College of Education during a 10 a.m. ceremony that Saturday. He will speak to graduates of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, College of Sciences and College of Nursing and Allied Health in a 2 p.m. ceremony. Close to 400 students will receive diplomas during the two graduation exercises.
A Republican, Staples was re-elected to his second term as agriculture commissioner in November. He previously served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1995-2000 and in the Texas Senate from 2000-06. In the Senate, he was chair of the Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, Workers Compensation Select Interim Committee and Texas Senate Republican Caucus. He also served as vice chair of the State Affairs Committee and the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee. Prior to his election to the state legislature, he was a city council member in his hometown of Palestine in East Texas.
During his time as a legislator, Staples was a recognized leader on such critical issues as worker’s compensation reform, private property owners’ rights, natural resources, school finance and education. As agriculture commissioner, he continues to pursue policies that enable economic strength, youth development, healthy lifestyles and consumer protection.
Outside of politics, Staples has owned a nursery business and a real estate office, and has done some cattle ranching. He is also a former instructor at Trinity Valley Community College and serves as a deacon in his local Baptist church.
While attending Palestine High School, Staples was an active member of Future Farmers of America (FFA). He graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, and served as state FFA vice president from 1981-82.
Staples and his wife, Janet, have four grown children.