Press Release | November 16, 2018

Railsbacks Named Finalists in Texas Farm Bureau Contest

A passion for agriculture, community and family earned Ryan and Jessica Railsback recognition in this year’s Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Excellence in Agriculture (EIA) competition.

Ryan and Jessica Railsbacks
Ryan and Jessica Railsback

TFB’s EIA award recognizes young men and women who are involved in agriculture but do not earn their primary income from a farm or ranch enterprise.

In addition to the Railsbacks, other finalists in this year’s contest are Garren and Shannon Bellis of Grand Saline and Ardy Tiner of Rusk. They were chosen from TFB’s 13 districts.

“Texas agriculture is diverse. It takes small and large farms and ranches, as well as businesses that support agriculture. And it’s the families behind those farms, ranches and businesses that makes agriculture a great industry,” TFB President Russell Boening said.

Ryan is a ranch foreman for Paraiso Escondido. He manages the cow-calf operation and the wildlife operation, which includes white-tailed deer, exotic species, turkey, dove and quail. He also organizes commercial hunts and oversees brush control on the property.

Cattle and wildlife complement each other well, Ryan said. He works to educate landowners on the importance of diversity and land stewardship.

“For the past 10 years, this career has allowed me to live out my desire of educating others on land, cattle and wildlife management,” he said.

Jessica is an agricultural loan officer with Central Texas Farm Credit in Comanche County. She provides capital liquidity to agricultural operations and conducts agricultural valuations, among other duties.

“For somebody to come in and just open up their books and have complete trust in you, you want people to be able to walk out with dignity and know they can rest assured in financing through you,” Jessica said. “I like knowing I can truly affect people’s lives by helping that way.”

Together, the couple also partners on a Red Angus herd.

They have two children, Kendall and Reed.

The winner of the EIA contest will be announced at the TFB Annual Meeting in Corpus Christi Dec. 1-3.

The EIA winner will take home a UTV, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, and a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of Farm Credit.

This year’s EIA runners-up will receive $500 cash, courtesy of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.

All three finalists will receive an expense-paid trip to the TFB Annual Meeting.

The state winner will also represent Texas in the national competition during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting Jan. 11-16 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

For more information about the Excellence in Agriculture contest and other young farmer and rancher opportunities, visit