The family guy

By Jim Jarrett

Reagan Stuart sat on the top of a table of his greenhouse when his daughter Ellen, 8, came over and gave her dad a hug.

Stuart, a 1988 Frenship High School graduate, balances his horticulture business with his family life. He owns Stuart’s Greenhouse, a wholesale distributor of flowers and other plants.

He and his wife Michelle have two daughters, Ellen, 8 and Emily, 5.

“It’s kind of a juggling act,” Stuart said about family and his business.

Stuart’s two daughters were raised in the greenhouse. When they were first born, Stuart and his wife would take the babies in a carrier to work. After school, they still hang around the greenhouse after school.

“The kids are out here a lot,” said Stuart. “They play around the greenhouse.”

Sometimes, they play farmer. Ellen, who is a student in the Frenship school district, wants to learn how to raise and show pigs like Stuart used to do.

“I still have my old pig pens out back from high school. We just need to clean them up,” said Stuart.

He plans to spend more time as a volunteer for school activities. The FFA is one organization he plans to help. Stuart was an FFA member when he attended Frenship schools.

Stuart already has developed a reputation as a volunteer for FFA events, but plans to ratchet his work schedule up.

“I’m fixing to help a lot more,” said Stuart.

During the spring, he and other alums volunteer with the annual FFA cookout. “They are a lot of fun,” he said. “We usually cook about 150 hamburgers. It’s a lot of fun to bring up old memories.”

He also helps with donations and sits on the FFA advisory board.

Stuart learned a little bit about plants through the FFA. He turned his interest into a vocation in college, graduating from Texas Tech University with a degree in horticulture in 1994.

The year 1994 was busy for him. He not only graduated college but also launched his greenhouse business and married Michelle.

Still, he knows his priorities.

“We put family first and business second,” he said.

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