Moultrie Observer

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Sunbelt Expo

September 23, 2009

Alabama Farmer of the Year: David Wright

A farm accident at age 14 left David Wright of Plantersville, Ala., without his right arm. He now looks back and says the accident was best thing that could have happened to him.



The accident helped him focus on developing his nursery and greenhouse business. His Wright’s Nursery and Greenhouse operation now has 92,000 square feet in greenhouse production and a half-acre of land for growing plants outside. He grows a wide variety of annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables. His best sellers are impatiens in the spring and pansies in the fall. He says, “You won’t see any operation in the U.S. this small with this much automation.”



As a result of his success with his nursery and greenhouses, Wright has been selected as the 2009 Alabama winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award. Wright now joins nine other state winners from the Southeast as finalists for the award. The overall winner will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the Sunbelt Ag Expo farm show in Moultrie, Ga.



“I lost my arm in 1966 when it was caught in the drive shaft of a corn sheller,” he recalls.

“I was a mediocre student, but after I lost my arm I felt I needed a college degree. Also, my dad was a mechanic by day and a farmer by night, and he was planning to build a new shop. After I recovered, I asked him to build a greenhouse instead. He built the greenhouse so I could learn to use my left hand. So, if not for losing my arm, I would not be in the greenhouse business, I would not have gone to college and would not have met my wife. I owe a lot to the Good Lord for taking my arm.”



He graduated with a horticulture degree from Auburn University where he met his wife Martha. He adds that learning to type with one hand was one of his greatest accomplishments.

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