The Williamson County Farm Bureau will be able to help more rural residents recover from the recent string of tornadoes thanks in part to a donation from Samsung Austin Semiconductor.

Williamson County Commissioners Court, in conjunction with the Farm Bureau, accepted a $10,000 donation from Samsung during its April 19 meeting. The funds will go toward the Farm Bureau’s Rural Relief Fund, which aims to provide financial assistance to residents' recovery and rebuild efforts.

Michele Glaze, director of communications and community affairs at Samsung Austin Semiconductor, said the donation demonstrates the company’s willingness and excitement to be a part of Williamson County. Samsung announced its plans to build a $17 billion facility in Taylor last fall.

Farm Bureau President Bob Avant said the Rural Relief Fund is up to about $50,000 following $30,000 in contributions from the Farm Bureau board, the Samsung donation and individual gifts.

The organization is accepting donations at its physical address at 2301 N. Main St., Taylor, or via mail to:
Texas Farm Bureau Agriculture Research and Education Foundation

Williamson County Rural Relief Fund

P.O. Box 2689

Waco, TX 76702-2689

Attn: Chris Daughtery

Checks should be made payable to the Texas Farm Bureau Agriculture Research and Education Foundation with the memo line Williamson County Rural Relief Fund.

“I was proud of the board of directors of Williamson County Farm Bureau to step forward and do that,” Avant said. “That's the largest single contribution of funds Williamson County Farm Bureau has ever done.”

More than 1,700 structures were damaged during the March 21 tornadoes that swept through Round Rock, Granger, Jarrell and other unincorporated areas, County Judge Bill Gravell said. Avant said in addition to the March 21 event, the funds will also help those affected by the April 12 tornado in northern Williamson County.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Russ Boles said the tornadoes destroyed many residents' barns and equipment.

“We have about 4,000 [Farm Bureau] members in Williamson County and about half of those are in, ... rural areas that had some pretty dramatic effects that we've all seen. I've ... talked personally to a lot of the people that are affected—some of them are Farm Bureau members, some aren’t—but we need to help them all. And we intend to do that,” Avant said.

The Farm Bureau is accepting applications until May 31. An ad hoc board will then review the applications and distribute funds by the end of June, Avant said. To receive an application, visit the Farm Bureau’s office or call 512-365-5212.

Fiscal year 2020-21 annual financial report

Williamson County Commissioners Court received a clean audit on the financial report for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2021.

Rebecca Goldstein, an external auditor with accounting firm Weaver, said there were no significant findings from the audit to report.

Williamson County took in $509 million in revenue and had $366 million in expenses for FY 2020-21, according to county documents. The largest source of revenue—67%—came from property taxes, while 25% of expenditures were spent on transportation projects.

“We’re a big company. We have a lot of complicated things,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey said. “The fact that we have a clean report from somebody that we trust ... is a big deal.”