The following information is bonus material from Top Producer. It corresponds with the article, "Gone Global” by Charles Johnson in the November 2008 issue.
While his partners, the Flowers brothers, concentrate on marketing and transportation, Matt Tays focuses on crop production. In 2007, he oversaw 2,000 acres. This year, labor costs and other factors dropped the acreage to 1,200. They rent most of their land but consider buying it a good option, too.
"Snap beans have been a real good crop for us. We're fortunate here that we can get two crops a year on our land. Snap beans are a 57 day crop. We follow them with cotton, planted at the end of May. Cotton is a good fit for us but we're also headed to peanuts and corn. We've got to get another crop for rotation,” Tays says.
"We got in business at a good time. We've seen good and bad cotton prices but, overall, we've fared pretty well. We're farming in three counties, Irwin, Tift and Worth. All three of us had farming backgrounds but my parents did not farm for a living. As a kid, I did work on my grandparents' farm, though,” Tays says.
"We always were drawn toward producing something people could eat, more than row crops. We like the business part of it. We like employing people, and working with people. But we get a lot of enjoyment out of knowing that somebody somewhere is going to eat this bell pepper or eggplant or cucumber or tomato. We take a lot of pride in that,” says Chip Flowers.
"We haven't given up on producing vegetables in the U.S. If it ever becomes profitable to produce in the U.S., we're positioned the company to take advantage of it. We had to give ourselves that option,” says Chip Flowers.
"The really key thing in this business is to get good people to work with you. We've been very fortunate with that. We employ good people, experienced people, people we can trust,” says Beau Flowers.