Feature story written by Luke Caverlee ’26, Student Program Assistant, Electrical Engineering Major
Benjamin Billings ’18 is from Cypress, Texas, and is an Agricultural Economics-Rural Entrepreneurship major. Benjamin is a proud third-generation Aggie.
As a freshman at A&M, Benjamin began his studies as a mechanical engineer. However, by the end of the year, he knew his life was headed in a different direction. As a sophomore, Benjamin made the switch to AGEC with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. Benjamin’s AGEC 424-425 project was Texas Ranchscape (which later became American Ranchscapes). In 2018, he placed in the Top 6 at the symposium. He received the “Most Likely to Begin a Business in the Next 3-5 Years” award that year too.
After graduating, he joined his family business, Buds and Blossoms, alongside his dad, Fred III, and eldest brother, Fred IV (also both former students/graduates of Agricultural Economics). Through working closely with his father and brother, Benjamin learned a lot about business. With their support, he formed a new company in 2020, American Ranchscapes (AR). He added, “I am now working full time at AR and am blessed to still collaborate on certain projects that involve both family enterprises.”
American Ranchscapes is a rural land development/improvement company that focuses on land clearing, dirt work, ponds/lakes and ranch construction projects. Their goal is to provide their clients with services that improve aesthetics and functionality, as well as increase property value. Creativity, paired with hard work and a true love for what they do, allows the company to best serve their clients.
Benjamin has always had a passion for large machinery and its capabilities, since the time he first drove a tractor as a child on his family farm. That excitement resulted in the creation of American Ranchscapes, which Benjamin incorporated in 2020. Two years after graduating, this action allowed Benjamin to realize his goal to build a business that best reflects his values of honesty, trust, integrity, ingenuity, hard work, and especially family.
When asked how the Rister ‘74 Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program prepared Benjamin for his career, his responded, “To say that the Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program was the most beneficial class I took at A&M is a huge understatement. Dr. Rister and his team have created a program that informs, encourages and helps develop young men and women into the next generation of successful entrepreneurs.” Benjamin has been asked on several occasions what it is that makes this program so valuable. While that seems nearly impossible to put into words, he claims that “it’s the importance of people, relationships and connections. It is a program that constantly provides its students with opportunities to grow both in business and personally.”
Benjamin still interacts with the program often. He regularly returns as a mentor for current students. Earlier this fall, he presented as a Professor-for-a-Day with his father and brother at Texas A&M, where they shared how to look for natural synergies with businesses.
Benjamin recently married Brooke Leeder (now Billings), Class of 2021, on August 6th, 2023. Brooke majored in Ag Leadership and Development while at Texas A&M.
Please help us congratulate Benjamin and Brooke on this amazing moment.