Library to host free live stream of Symposium

Olney Community Library will be hosting a free live stream of The Future of Rural Texas Symposium, sponsored by The Texas Tribune, on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in the meeting room at the library.

The symposium on rural policy and affairs in Texas will look into the future of rural education, health care, natural resource preservation and infrastructure investment, and explore the current political climate in rural Texas and the state’s economic future.

While anyone is invited to attend any or all sessions of the all-day event, please know that this is not a event for small children. Please make other arrangements for them outside the library, if you plan to attend.

Below is the schedule of events from

Tuesday, Nov. 13

8:20-8:40 a.m. Setting the Table: What is Rural Texas? - Tom Luce, founder and chairman of Texas 2036 8:45-9:05 a.m. Public Opinion and Rural Texas - Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project 9:15-10:05 a.m. Educating the Next Generation - Kim Alexander, superintendent of the Roscoe Independent School District - Jimmie Don Aycock, former state Rep. and former chair of the House Public Education Committee - Sylvia Leal, senior program officer for Education and Economic Development at the T.L.L Temple Foundation - Cheryl Sparks, president of Howard College - Moderated by Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune 10:15-11:05am Investing in Infrastructure - Will Conley, chairman of CAMPO and a former Hays County commissioner - State Rep. Ben Leman, R-Anderson, and former Grimes County judge - State Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria and chair of the House Transportation Committee - Bill Stockton, executive associate agency director for the Interdisciplinary Research Group at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute - Moderated by Brandon Formby, urban affairs reporter for The Texas Tribune 11:15am-12:05pm Preserving Natural Resources - Blair Fitzsimons, CEO of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust - Marilu Hastings, vice president for sustainability at the Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation - State Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-College Station - Roel Lopez, director of the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute - Moderated by Andrew Sansom, executive director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University 12:45-1:35pm The View from Rural Communities - Donnie Allred, Oldham County judge - Shelley Brophy, mayor of Nacogdoches - Alma Moreno, San Patricio County commissioner - Ramiro Rodriguez, mayor of Palmhurst - Moderated by Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune 1:45-2:15pm The State of the Rural Economy - Glenn Hegar, Texas comptroller of public accounts 2:25-3:15pm Building an Economic Future - Becky Garlick, executive dean of Blinn College - Arleene Loyd, executive director of the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation - Joe Outlaw, professor and extension economist in the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University - Ines Polonius, CEO of Communities Unlimited - Moderated by Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune 3:25-4:15pm Ensuring Rural Health - John Henderson, president and CEO of the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals - Susan Rushing, CEO of Burke - State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown - State Rep. J.D. Sheffield, R-Gatesville - Moderated by Marissa Evans, health and human services policy reporter for The Texas Tribune