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The 1999 Garland County Farm Family of The Year
Sentinel Record, August 27, 1999 Story by Douglas Shackelford
The Robert Reynolds family of Hot Springs recently was selected as Garland
County winners in the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program, sponsored by
Entergy, the Arkansas Press Association and, locally, by The Sentinel-Record.
The program, now in its 53rd year, is the only one of its kind in the country. It highlights the importance of farm families and agriculture to the state. The 1999 Garland County farm family owns Reynolds Greenhouses, a 150000 square foot operation on Crabtree Road in Hot Springs. Robert Reynolds started the business in 1976, and his wife Deborah, joined the business in 1985. The Reynolds' have five children, some of whom work at the greenhouses.
Reynolds Greenhouses grows a large selection of spring annuals, such as geraniums, impatiens, petunias, marigolds and other varieties. In the fall, the company grows around 65 different varieties of pansies. All spring annuals are potted in containers ranging from six packs to 10 inch hanging baskets. All production is in one building, where equipment, which fills the flats and pots with soil is located. Once the seedlings are placed in the soil, they are moved to the greenhouses, which contain automated, overhead irrigation.
Reynolds Greenhouses markets to large chains, such as Lowe's and Wal-Mart, and also to individual consumers. Customers can receive availability sheets by fax, which, according to the Reynolds' application for the award, is popular with customers. The greenhouses' inventory is all monitored by computers, which are operated by Deborah Reynolds, the office manager.
The business has seen some new and welcome improvements over the past several years. The implementation of new chemical spraying procedures, along with the connection to the Hot Springs Water System and the conversion from propane to natural gas have made everyday things such as watering and disease prevention easier. In 1997, the company built its first natural ventilation greenhouse. Since then, several of the greenhouses have been retrofitted with automated roll-up sides and raised roof ventilation. These changes are making fans obsolete and preparing the business for the future.
Even though this farm family was not selected as District Farm Family of the Year, the final step before state farm family honors are bestowed, they will still be honored at a Dec.3, luncheon at the Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale. That luncheon will honor all county and district farm families and will be the place where the Arkansas State Farm Family of the Year is named.
Reception at The Governors' Manson in Little Rock honoring all of the 1999 Farm Families of Arkansas.
Janet Huckabee, Lisa Reynolds, Shane Reynolds, Robert Reynolds, Deborah Reynolds, and Governor Mike Huckabee
The Sentinel-Record compiled and edited the following story, which appeared in the Sentinel-Record, Sunday October 10, 1999. The Reynolds family, Bob, Deborah, and Shane Reynolds provided the information for the article and wrote parts of it.
The Reynolds Family named Garland Family of the Year
The following article recognizes the Garland County Farm Family of the Year. Entergy and the Arkansas Press Association in cooperation with the Farm Bureau, Cooperative Extension Service, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development, and Arkansas Department of Workforce Education work to develop this program each year.
The Arkansas Farm Family of the Year was started in 1947 and serves as a vehicle to recognize out standing farm families throughout the state. The object of the program is to give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing an outstanding job in farming, community leadership, and home making. It is designed to disseminate information on improved farm practices and home management.
Bob and Deborah Reynolds, owners of Reynolds' Greenhouses, were named Garland County's 1999 Farm Family of the Year.
Bob started Reynolds' Greenhouses with his late wife, Bonnie, in 1976 growing peppers and tomatoes to sell to local garden centers.
The two had no formal experience in horticulture but were interested in gardening and had grown vegetables and transplants successfully in cold frames for personal use.
When the Reynolds’s started their greenhouses, Bob worked as a sheet metal worker installing heating and air conditioning duct systems in hospitals and other commercial buildings. His job required traveling, sometimes for several months at a time. The couple wanted to open a business they could operate at home so they could spend more time with the family.
Bob continued working until they got their greenhouse business established. By 1982, he was able to quit sheet metal work and operates the greenhouses full time.
Today Bob and wife, Deborah, operate 150000 square feet of greenhouses and production areas.
They grow a large selection of spring annuals such as geraniums, impatience, petunias, marigolds and many more varieties, which are plotted in containers ranging from six packs to 10-inch hanging baskets. In the fall, they grow pansies in about 65 colors and varieties.
When ready for harvesting, plants are loaded onto shipping carts and delivered directly to customers.
A preventative drench of Marathon, Adept and Banrot is used for insect and disease control. This initial application has dramatically reduced chemical usage and exposure. Spraying is rare except for problem spots.
Marketing has evolved dramatically since the business began in 1976. During the early years, routes were established to sell retail florist. Pot chrysanthemums, poinsettias, gloxinias and other floral crops were sold to retail florists and garden centers. Inventories were sold directly from the route trucks.
As the Reynolds' market share grew, major chains were added to the portfolio of sales. Customers were contacted personally or by phone and informed of what was available. After Bob's first wife, Bonnie died in 1984; he discontinued the floral routes and stopped growing for retail florists.
In the spring of 1985, when the bedding plant segment of the business was growing and becoming more profitable; Reynolds converted all production to flowering annuals. The change was profitable.
The Reynolds now market two ways; pre-selling part of crops to chains and faxing availability sheets to customers.
Computers play a major role in marketing strategy. Bob married Deborah in October 1985, and she became interested in the business, serving as office manager. She utilizes the computer system EDI to receive purchase orders and send acknowledgments and invoices. Retaillink is used to stay in touch with Wal-Mart through the Internet. It tracks sale-thrus and markdowns on store level, by district or by region.
Bob and Deborah have five children; Shane Robert Reynolds, Jennifer Lee White, Joseph Wayne White, Joshua Edward Reynolds, Stephen Andrew Reynolds.
Shane is a part owner of Reynolds' Greenhouses. He became a full-time partner in the business in 1988 after graduating from DuPage Horticulture School in West Chicago, Illinois. He has served on the committee of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 1 First Presbyterian Church and attained a rank of Eagle Scout in 1987. Shane is married to Lisa Gobel Reynolds. They have three children Kamden, Matthew and Sarah.
Jennifer White is a 1997 graduate of Remington Business College. She has one daughter, Brittany.
Joe White is a graduate of Subiaco Academy where he earned several metals' in track and field. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1994. He has worked a four-year apprenticeship with Parker Plumbing Company in Hot Springs. He is married to Danielle Buck White.
Joshua Reynolds is an honor roll student at Second Baptist Christian School. He received his certificate of confirmation at First United Methodist Church in May 1999. He earned third-place in the 1993 Spa Sprint Run and has earned several first-place metals for events on Athletic Day at Second Baptist Christian School.
Stephen Reynolds is a student at St. Luke's Episcopal Day School.
Besides work the family, Bob and Deborah stay busy with community involvement.
Bob is a member of the Ouachita Area Council Boy Scouts of America and worked in the Cub Scout program for two years. In 1980, he served as Webelos leader in Pack 1 First Presbyterian Church for two years and in 1981 became assistant Scoutmaster for the troop. In 1983, he became the Scoutmaster and served three years. In 1986 he became assistance Scoutmaster for Troop 15 at Highland Presbyterian Church and served as advancement chairman on the Troop Committee for five years.
In 1991, he transferred back to First Presbyterian Church Troop 1 where he served on the Troop Committee and later as Troop Committee chairman for three years.
He has worked on several Friends of Scouting fund raising-drives.
Bob has filled leadership positions at First Presbyterian Church.
He was elected to serve as an elder on the session. During his three years as an elder he was Moderator of Christian Education and Missions and vice moderator of the Witness Committee. He also taught a youth Sunday school class for five years.
Deborah also has been involved in church organizations. At First Presbyterian Church, she taught Sunday school for five years and taught vacation Bible school. She was a member of the Witness Committee and Christian Education Committee and served as treasurer of the Presbyterian Women's Group for two years. Deborah also served on the Boy Scout Troop 1 Committee.
With strong ethics, close family ties and strong community involvement, the Reynolds family amplifies the spirit of the Garland County Farm Family of the year.
1. ROBERT EDWARD7 REYNOLDS (AUBREY EDWARD6, LEONIDAS ERASMUS5, LEONIDAS BASCOM4, HARTWELL STAIN3, HENRY2, FATHER1) was born pvt. in Erie, Pennsylvania. He married (1) BONNIE SUE STANDIFORD January 29, 1968 in Hot Springs, AR. Piney Baptist Church, daughter of EDWARD STANDIFORD and VEDA HENDERSON. She was born November 02, 1940 in Bonnerdale, Arkansas, and died September 03, 1984 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He married (2) DEBORAH LOU OFFUTT October 19,1985 in Smith Chapel Church Of God, Kingsland, AR., daughter of JOE OFFUTT and VIRGINIA BEST. She was born pvt. in Liberty, Texas.
Brief update on the family Dec 2003
Update Feb 2009
Thought I would share some of the things happening in the Reynolds Family here in Hot Springs during 2007 and 2008.
Joshua is attending the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, which is located 3 1/2 hours from Hot Springs. After two years at Arkansas Tech he finally decided to major in architectural landscape design and it will take two more years to complete the degree. The program includes internships and trips to Europe to study classic architecture. We believe he has found his niche and is working hard to reach his goal. He should be able to go into business or find a job anywhere in the country after earning his degree.
Stephen graduated from Mountain Pine High School in 2008. He is currently working at Wal-Mart here in Hot Spring. He hasn't decided what he wants to do, but his best is choice the Garland County Community College for the first couple years and then finish his education at a four year school.
Joe and his wife Genni had a baby boy named Bryce Owen White born July 04, 2007 here in Hot Springs. Joe is a master plumber and recently went into business for himself, Joe’s Plumbing. Joe is Deborah's son and my stepson for those that that don't know the family connection. They have been busy for the last couple of months remodeling an old house located in the Lake Hamilton school district. They hope to be finished by March 2009.
Matthew and Julie Reynolds have moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Ohio in 2007. Julie is a research scientist and will be working at the University of Ohio. Matthew is the son of Bill Reynolds my brother and is a computer programmer. Bill Reynolds’ youngest son David and his wife Shalon recently had a new addition to the family. A baby boy born was on April 25, 2008, named Benjamin Isaacs Reynolds. He was named after Benjamin Bell and Silas Isaacs that are his 4th great grandfathers.
Jennifer and her husband Darren Sorrell are still living at Bismarck Arkansas. Their oldest daughter Brittany is in the seventh grade and is on the basketball team at Bismarck junior high. Darren is a boilermaker and recently went to work on a coal-fired generator plant that is being built at Fulton, Arkansas. The economy is predicted to be down in 2009 and construction related jobs are scarce. This should be a good break for them because; the job is scheduled to be complete in three or four years.
Shane Reynolds and his wife Lisa are interested in physical fitness. They're involved at the Fitness Zone here in Hot Springs and attend classes regularly there. They recently ran a 5K in October 2008 and Sarah Reynolds, age 10 placed 5th in the race held at Whittington Park in Hot Springs.
Photo Sarah Reynolds leads the Reynolds Clan
Additional History of Reynolds' Greenhouses
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