Many friends, family and co-workers joined in with a celebration for Larry Eubank on Saturday evening at the Ellis County Expo Center. Eubank has announced his retirement from the Farm Service Agency.
“I’ve been with them for 33 years and here in Ellis County for 29-1/2 years,” Eubank said. “In that job we took new farm programs and made the farmers aware of them and new farm bills.
“I’m going to miss the many friends and farmers I’ve worked with over the many years,” he told the Sun. “But I am going to miss the four ladies in my office the most. They are the ones that helped me to make things happen.”
Eubank served as executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Ellis County. The FSA works to ensure that Texas farmers, ranchers and landowners have access to all technical assistance, funding and programs the agency has to offer. Some of the programs from the FSA include low-interest loans, commodity price support, disaster assistance and conservation incentives. These programs provide a safety net for farmers and ranchers during times of economic uncertainty, disaster and emergency.
“We are really going to miss him,” said Fran Brown, office staff member. “There was never a dull moment with Larry in the office. Barbara (Janek) and I are also close to retirement and thought that we would retire first but he beat us to it.”
Eubanks said he’s proud of his service in Ellis County and feels fortunate to have gotten the chance to work here over the years.
“I have had a lot of good times,” he said. “I have been fortunate to have excellent staff with me the entire time. We have been fortunate to work with good honest producers in Ellis County, farmers, ranchers, honey beekeepers or whoever they might be. I have been fortunate to work with them.
“Our policy has always been we are always here because of y’all producers,” he told the crowd on hand. “Without y’all, we don’t have a job. What I have always tried to do and install in my co-workers is that we work with and for you.”
Regular communication was important in building lasting relationships with the producers in the community, he said.
“Communication is key,” he said. “Throughout the year we have lots of meetings and it is the key to doing business. If we don’t communicate with you producers, we or y’all will fail. So, we have tried to do that and keep an open-door policy.”
The work was enjoyable, he said.
“I grew up on a farm in Hill County,” he said. “When I got here (to Ellis County), I thought that I was home because my first county was in South Texas. It has been a joy for me to do the job.”
Ellis County producer Bob Beakley said of Eubank, “Larry has been a tremendous help to all of us. He has been more help to the farmers of Ellis County than any man.”
Fellow producer John Paul Dineen III said Larry’s office has been crucial for Ellis County producers, especially in providing help during critical times.
“Your office is crucial for us as producers to help us with disasters and to get through those things,” Dineen said. “As producers, if we are honest, we are not that great with paperwork and all of that. You all did a great job of translating government speak into layman terms that we can understand.
“We know that you all have our best interests in heart and we really appreciate that,” Dineen said. “We appreciate all that you have done for the county and the producers. The next person has big boots to fill.”
Ellis County Extension Agent Mark Arnold said he and Eubank often worked side by side in helping farmers with the programs.
“Many times, he would be ahead of me, making my job much easier,” Arnold said. “He will be missed.”
Although Eubank is retiring from his federal program job, he will continue to work.
“I’ll be working with a financial group out of South Carolina,” he said. “I’ll be talking to people in the county introducing their program. So, I’ll still be around and working in Ellis County.”
Besides his new business venture, Eubank will continue to raise show cattle for his grandchildren.
“I’ve been involved with 4-H since I was 6 years old,” he said. “My kids have been involved with showing, including my daughter Bailey. I have grandkids and nieces and nephews that I’ll be raising show cattle to show in 4-H and FFA. There is no better program in America for a young person to be involved in.”