President of Rio Grande Valley Livestock and Agricultural Exposition to present March 4

One of the enduring traditions of South Texas is the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Rodeo. This agricultural tradition has evolved into a family affair in which people across South Texas can learn about farming and ranching. Mike Risica, the president of the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Agricultural Exposition, will discuss the history and evolution of the RGVLS at the Sunday Speaker Series at the Museum of South Texas History March 4 at 2 p.m.

In 1939, the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and Agricultural Exposition was organized as a project of the Mercedes Chamber of Commerce. The first show was held in 1940 on the grounds of a local livestock sales yard. In 1947, the show was incorporated and chartered as a non-profit educational organization with a board of directors representing all of the four south most counties of Texas. The show has continued to grow each year and now ranks as one of the top ten in the state of Texas. People from all over the state eagerly anticipate the event and come to enjoy the many activities including a parade, rodeos and competitive livestock events.

For the second year in a row, visitors to the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and the Museum of South Texas History will have a chance to enjoy a ticket-for-ticket partnership between the museum and the RGVLS. Museum visitors who attend the Sunday Speaker Series presentation will receive a one-day ticket to the RGVLS valid from March 8 to March 18. Additionally, visitors to either the museum or the RGVLS during that time period can bring their tickets to the other venue for free admission.

Risica was born in Lyford, Texas, but raised in Edinburg, Texas. He graduated from Edinburg High School, where he was active in 4-H and FFA. He followed his passion for agriculture and moved on to graduate Cum Laude from Texas A&M University in College Station with a double major in Animal Science and Agricultural Education in 1981. Upon graduation, Risica returned to Edinburg, where he became a teacher in the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District. After a few years with the school district, Risica decided to continue pursuing a career in the agriculture field and opened up Rio Beef Feedyard, a custom cattle feeding venture.

Risica was asked to serve on the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Board of Directors in 1989, following in the footsteps of his father, Sam Risica. He held the positions of secretary and vice president and is now serving as the president of the RGVLS.

Sunday Speakers Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the Museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.

This program is made possible with generous support from the Carmen C. Guerra Endowment. Mrs. Guerra was deeply committed to supporting educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. This named endowment was created at the museum by her family to honor her memory and to continue her commitment to providing opportunities for education to the community.

About Museum of South Texas History
The Museum of South Texas History is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Hours of operation are from 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003, following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit MOSTHistory.org, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, find on Google+ or call +1-956-383-6911.