By Julie Tomascik

You might have seen them growing along Texas highways and back roads this summer. That bright, oh so sunny field of sunflowers.

It’s a hardy crop that can survive this Texas heat. But can sunflowers survive Texans?

What do I mean by that, you ask. Well, Texans love a good photo of Texas agriculture. Sunflowers, wheat fields, cows and a good, old rustic barn make a great back drop for any picture.

Texans do it for the gram. To get the perfect selfie. Or that beautiful family photo.

But it’s trespassing when you walk into that field of sunflowers or wheat on the side of the road. And it could be damaging to the crop.

Farmers invest their time and money into growing their crops, and sunflowers are no exception.

When you walk into their field, take a photo or cut off one of the flowers, you make think it’s harmless. But it’s in fact causing damage.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Damage to the crop, potential damage to the field if it’s wet and damage to the farmer’s bottom line.

That harmless activity of taking a photo or taking a plant can represent a financial loss to the farmer. If every person that stops takes a sunflower or parks on the edge of the field, the damage quickly adds up.

And you’re trespassing. That isn’t the Texan thing to do in a state where we hold private property rights so dear.

You never know what you could encounter in those fields and pastures. You might find unfriendly animals or unknowingly enter a dangerous situation.

And it’s illegal.

Don’t trespass into a farmer’s field. Don’t hop the fence into a rancher’s pasture. Be respectful and ask for permission before walking through someone’s property.

That’s the Texan thing to do and the right thing to do.

Want to meet a Texas sunflower farmer? Click here to see how Rodney Schronk grows sunflowers in Central Texas.