For the second year in a row, an active member of El Campo’s agriculture scene has been named a finalist in the Texas Farm Bureau’s annual Excellence in Agriculture competition.
Jessica Rumbaugh, owner of Texas Land and Home Real Estate, is one of three finalists in this year’s competition, which recognizes young individuals who are involved in agriculture but do not earn their main income from a farm or ranch.
Rumbaugh was selected against applicants in 13 districts across the state. The other two finalists for the award this year are Cody Berry of Angelina County and Laura Reed of Denton County.
“There are a lot of amazing applications submitted each year, and for my contributions to be considered worthy of being selected as a finalist for a second year in a row truly means a lot to me,” Rumbaugh said.
Finalists will present information on their involvement in the modern ag industry and answer questions from a panel of judges. The winner will be announced on Nov. 30 at the TFB’s annual meeting. The first part of this year’s convention will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rumbaugh’s presentation will be based on her EIA application, which asked for in-depth written answers from each applicant.
“I talked about how I volunteer with ag groups, meet with my legislators both in DC and in Austin to discuss ag issues, my involvement with groups like GO Team, and how I have created resources ... to help educate about land ownership and agriculture,” Rumbaugh said.
Rumbaugh and her husband, Ben, were finalists for TFB’s EIA in late 2019, competing alongside El Campoans Sarah and Zach Eder who went on to represent TFB at the national convention.
The Rumbaughs operate a grass-fed beef business called 410 Farms on the outskirts of El Campo and are TFB’s District 11 Young Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee representatives.
“This role has given me the opportunity to travel, serve and advocate for agriculture,” Rumbaugh said. “It was through my involvement in that committee that I felt confident enough to want to apply.”
The couple has a son, Kai, and a daughter, Bailey.
Coming from a multi-generation ag family, Rumbaugh’s passion for agriculture led her to create Educateag.com, a website that provides ag-themed lessons for teachers and parents. Jessica also recently started a podcast discussing rural properties.
She is involved with the Wharton County Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau, creating social media content and traveling across the country to speak with politicians and educate students and teachers on the agriculture industry.
“Don’t be hesitant to advocate to protect and preserve agriculture,” Rumbaugh said. “Don’t be hesitant to speak up to your legislators or volunteer some time to educate school kids about agriculture. I think society as a whole is unfortunately slowly losing the understanding of agriculture and how incredibly important it is.”
The winner of the TFB EIA competition will represent the state at AFB’s national competition in January.
Rumbaugh would love to win, because she is naturally competitive, she told the Leader-News, but also because of the opportunity it would provide.
“I’d love to have the opportunity to represent Texas on a national scale and to share about why I’m passionate about protecting and preserving agriculture,” Rumbaugh said.