The Coalition and Our Work
What is the TREAD Coalition? We are a bi-partisan, volunteer non-profit that advocates for and defends Texas landowner rights on the state and local levels. Our name stands for Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense. Our rights are individual, but it takes a coalition to defend them.
We are an alliance of concerned citizens standing together to effect change. TREAD monitors relevant issues in the Texas Legislature, such as property taxes, water rights, eminent domain and more. We partner with professionals and organizations that advocate sound public policy and maintain a bipartisan commitment to evaluate and prioritize issues through good science and economics. TREAD is a voice of reason representing landowners at the Capitol.
TREAD Coalition Board
The Board is comprised of passionate landowners dedicated to protecting our finite natural resources and upholding landowner rights, for existing Texans and generations to come. Armed with an array of diverse backgrounds and experiences, each board member brings a unique perspective to the challenges we face today.
I was born and raised in South Texas where farming, ranching and the oil & gas business were a part of everyone’s lives. As a ranch owner, outdoorsman and native Texan, I believe the land supports all of our activities, both personal and professional. TREAD supports landowner rights for all Texans and I hope we can help families enjoy a small part of our great state by owning their own property.
I became involved in Texas water issues when my family’s land was threatened with an industrial development. The water quality and transportation safety in my community were in danger. Through grassroots efforts, I became involved in local governmental issues and I have served as an elected board member of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District for 10 years. Landowners often struggle with property rights issues on their own, unaware that others are dealing with the same concerns. TREAD allows individuals’ voices to be heard. I believe we should have responsible growth that honors the land as a valuable resource for ourselves and generations to come.
My connection to the land and the outdoors was passed to me by my father. I was raised in Corpus Christi and worked my way to a degree in mechanical engineering. In 2013, I paused my engineering career to devote more time to raising cattle alongside my wife, Patricia. I also continued to develop my interest in protecting private property rights. I joined the Board to do my part to slow or stop the continuing loss of private property rights.
Alfred Smith, Jr.
I was born and raised in the small South Texas town of Pearsall. I was never far from the enjoyment afforded by land owned by my family and friends. From a young age, I aspired to acquire my own piece of Texas. Today, my brother and I own and manage multiple rural real estate investment companies across the state of Texas. When I am not working to improve the land, I enjoy fly fishing on the coast and watching the Aggies win. I strongly believe in private property rights and feel TREAD is a great advocate for the rights of Texas property owners.
I am a fifth generation Texan with roots to ranching and farming communities. I am an owner and principal of Plateau Land & Wildlife Management, and have spent most of my professional life working with landowners to help them become better stewards of the land. I consult with private, public, and non-profit organizations to further protection of habitat for rare Texas wildlife. A few years ago, the creek I live along was filled with silt by an upstream neighbor's non-permitted dam construction. My neighbors and I found the pollution levels did not rise enough to require remediation and there was no way to compel the clean-up of our creek. I decided then that Texas law needed to change to take into account the prior condition of a creek when determining if a polluting event had occurred. A single landowner's voice is rarely heard, so I have joined with a group of like-minded landowners, and I know that if we stand together, we can protect and enhance our natural heritage for the benefit of our communities as a whole, while protecting our rights as landowners.
There are many associations that landowners can join; however, those associations are typically narrow in scope to a specific area of interest. The one thing that binds all landowners is the land. TREAD was initiated to protect the land and the landowner’s rights, uniting multiple areas of interest into a stronger lobbying voice. The land is precious in many ways and needs good stewards to preserve and protect it for future generations. Water is essential to life. Both are often treated like commodities to be exploited. I have to do my part so that my children and my children’s children will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the land and water as I have in my lifetime. My grandfather taught me many things. Because of him, I share his love of the land. He would say, “Take care of the land and it will take care of you.” To this day, I firmly believe in his words.
I am a native Texan and have dedicated my entire professional career to working with Texas landowners. I currently lead the farm and ranch land division of Keller Williams Realty. As Texas continues to grow, stewardship by private landowners is increasingly more important. TREAD is a coalition of stewardship-minded landowners working together to protect property rights and positively influence legislation that affects private lands. The land is my passion. I try to spend as much time with my family on the ranch as I can. I want to teach my children the value and importance of the land. I hunt on it, farm it, raise livestock on it and work tirelessly to protect it. It is our heritage and responsibility.
I joined TREAD as an opportunity to apply what I have learned and experienced over the years concerning the erosion of private property and water rights by special interest groups, big business and government agencies. I love the water, whether it's canoeing on the Guadalupe, swimming in the cool spring water of Landa Park or playing in the surf on the Gulf Coast. Our surface waters, aquifers, and gulf estuaries are our most precious resources. Many of us Texans live in the country where we work the land, raise livestock and experience the daily wonders and beauty of nature. As stewards on this earth, we must protect our environment the best we can. It's time to make changes and reform some of our laws that do not share this same vision.