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Keeping Texas Big,
Wide and Open
Created by landowners for landowners, TALT's mission is to protect private working lands, thus conserving Texas’ heritage of wide open spaces.

Photo © D.K. Langford

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richardJohn Dudley

“Land has always been part of me. I’m just connected,” said John Dudley, who is a partner in Dudley Brothers, a registered and commercial Hereford operation located near Comanche. “I was raised in the middle of this ranch. It’s what I’ve always done and it’s what I still do.” The family has operated in Comanche County since 1885 when the original ranch was purchased by John’s great-grandfather, James Hudson Dudley, Jr.

Through the years, John has advocated for ranchers by holding top leadership positions in numerous organizations including: the Texas Hereford Association, the American Hereford Association, the Texas Beef Council, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Gov. Rick Perry also appointed John to serve on the Texas State University System Board of Regents.

His travels throughout the state have given him a front row seat for Texas’ transformation from a rural state to an urban one.

“A siren song of opportunity is bringing people to Texas, and society is trying to soak up these new Texans using the sponge of our productive, open space land,” John said. “If we lose our land, we lose our historic advantage as a powerhouse of food and fiber production. If we lose our land, we also jeopardize Mother Nature’s ability to refill our aquifers and rivers and therefore our very existence. We need a mechanism to keep open space land open and productive.”

TALT provides a viable mechanism.

“It takes a plan to keep land intact and productive and to defend it from the IRS,” John said. “Families wanting to pass their holdings forward must explore all of their options, realizing that not every possible solution is for everyone. TALT provides a viable option for many ag families because TALT recognizes the difference between land that is productive and land that is merely preserved. TALT views the issue of land trusts through the eyes of farmers and ranchers, not through the eyes of East Coast lawyers.”