Omar Villafranca, NBCDFW.com
The AgFund, which endorsed Gov. Rick Perry twice, votes to remain neutral.
The third time wasn't a charm.
A press release on the group's website said the board voted to remain neutral. The group had previously endorsed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's bid for the Republican nomination for governor.
At an event in Dallas, Perry brushed off the nonendorsement.
"At the leadership level, they decided they want to be neutral," he said. "I'm going after the membership out there. We feel real comfortable with the Farm Bureau membership out there. You know, we don't get the associations from time to time, so we'll live with it."
Even though Perry's Democratic rival, Bill White, didn't receive the endorsement, his campaign jumped on the news.
"After 10 years of career politician Rick Perry, Texans are ready for an alternative, " White spokeswoman Katy Bacon said. "Bill White is committed to private property rights, while Perry's spent years obsessed with the corrupt land grab of the Trans-Texas Corridor, racking up billions in debt."
Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said the Farm Bureau's decision to stay out of the race isn't good for Perry, especially because the governor is a former commissioner.
"It's a blow to the Perry campaign because they've had the endorsement in the past," he said. "This suggests that there is movement away from the governor in rural Texas."
Perry said he feels confident that the rank-and-file members of the Farm Bureau support him.
"The Farm Bureau members out there, I got great respect for them," he said. "They knew me when I was the agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor and the governor."
"Gov. Perry is proud to have the support of more than 100 organizations representing millions of hardworking Texans. Like he has done in previous elections, the Governor will receive the support of individual farmers and ranchers throughout Texas," said Mark Miner, Perry's campaign spokesperson.