PASO ROBLES – After 43 years, Noel Ryan, Branch Manager of Paso Robles Farm Supply, retires today, Dec. 31.

It’s not a secret that Noel Ryan is an essential member of the Farm Supply family. He is known for his integrity, American values, compassion, and so much more.

Ryan is also too humble to admit to any of these flattering attributes.

Susan Hayes, the current assistant branch manager, said, “He leads by example. He’s not above doing anything-I can count on him. He has mentored me tremendously.”

Neal and Susan
Noel Ryan (left) and incoming Branch Manager Susan Hayes (right) holding a branded sign that local ranches and farmers created as a tribute for Ryan’s years of service to the community. Photo by Camille DeVaul

Ryan feels it is time for him to retire and let a new generation begin at Farm Supply.

“I tell people that I’ve been a part-time resident of Creston for 43 years, now I’m going to go home,” Ryan shared.

However, Ryan’s story doesn’t begin in Creston or America for that matter.

Ryan and his brother Mike were born in Ireland and adopted in 1952 when Ryan was two years old.

His parents brought the boys back to their hometown of Creston, where they eventually attended school in the two-room schoolhouse.

Ryan laughed, saying, “I’m one of the luckiest Irishman alive.”

Later on, Ryan graduated from Paso Robles High School and then attended Cuesta Community College and Cal Poly before being offered a job at Cal Tech Chemical.

In 1977 Farm Supply purchased Cal Tech Chemical, and Ryan went to work for them at the old 1108 Paso Robles Street location. And that is where Ryan’s history with Farm Supply begins.

Ryan has seen Farm Supply adapt with the times, going from selling bulk fertilizer to now catering more to the retail sides of businesses. He witnesses Paso Robles evolve from grain farmland to vineyards.

Hayes will be stepping in Ryan’s place as the new branch manager come Jan. 1, 2021.

“He’s mentored me with his integrity the most-and his patience and his compassion towards other people has rubbed off on me,” Hayes explained.

It is clear that Ryan has made an impact on his employees. He is, in many ways, the heart and soul of the company.

Hayes has been with Farm Supply for nearly 30 years, and Ryan has been with her every step of the way.

Noel Ryan Retires after 43 years of service at Farm Supply.

“He treats us like his family, and he has his own family. We’re a close-knit bunch here-He is such a special person in so many ways,” said Hayes.

Ryan says he will miss the people the most when he leaves, “My wife Nancy asked me the other day, ‘Who are you going to talk to?’”

But with four grown children and four grandchildren, plus his cattle, Ryan will be most likely stay entertained.

Spending time at home and with his family is what Ryan is ready for. While sharing photos of his grandchildren, you could see the pure pride and joy he has for Ruby, Tatum, Willa, and of course, his little grandson Noel.

Most of all, he can’t wait to spend time with his wife Nancy and keep adding to their 46 (he’s pretty sure) years of marriage!

“It’s been fun. Such a great business to work for. They support us so much in so many ways. A very family-oriented company,” said Ryan, “My first boss until a few years ago was Jim Brabeck; he was the one who hired me. Just a wonderful guy to work for almost 40 years.”

Although Hayes isn’t ready to let Ryan go, she is overjoyed for him.

“He is a true American. He is all about that stuff, American and the values and family and a very traditional person. And I am too-we relate to each other that way. I think that’s why we get along so well,” Hayes said.

Ryan will make the transition from the manager and Farm Supply member for over forty years to the role of a customer. But needless to say, Ryan will always be a Farm Supply family member.