The Early Years
When Ormond and Lucile Harrell purchased a feed store in downtown Lakeland, Florida in 1941, they didn’t know just where they were headed. They did know that folks wanted quality products and friendly, personal service – because their little business began to prosper. Over the next 25 years, the Harrells opened five Garden Centers in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Largo and Madeira Beach, serving lawn and landscape needs as well as farming and ranching interests.
By the mid 60’s, Jack Harrell, Sr. was the Harrell-in-charge, still offering personal service and top products. And as he drove between store locations, it just made sense to check out the golf courses along the way. Jack Sr. figured they used lots of fertilizer, Harrell’s had it – and playing a few holes of golf along the way would keep a man young forever! It didn’t hurt that the golf boom was building steam, taking the demand for Harrell’s turf fertilizer with it. By the early ‘80s, Harrell’s kept sales reps across the state busy. The shift from retail sales to turf fertilizer was here to stay.
But Jack Sr. was still determined that Harrell’s would offer only the best. In 1985 the fertilizer manufacturing plant cranked out its first bag of Harrell’s branded fertilizer in Lakeland, FL. During this time, the company gradually shut down its retail centers to allow concentration on custom blended fertilizer. As more and bigger turf customers realized they could count on Harrell’s for quality, the demand skyrocketed and Harrell’s added leading chemical manufacturers to its distributorships.
As Florida’s agribusiness industry continued to expand, the more queries Harrell’s received. In 1994 the company hired a Nursery Products Manager to coordinate sales in the growing ornamental nursery business. And by early 2000, Harrell’s Sports Turf Products Manager was serving groundskeepers and other professional turf managers across Florida.
The original Lakeland plant and warehouse facilities have expanded through the years to meet steady demand growth. A Sylacauga, AL fertilizer plant and 18 warehouses now serve turfgrass and ornamental customers all over the eastern United States.
Today Harrell’s is big business, but it’s still got the Ormond and Lucile touch – top quality and personal service in every bag. Nothing else would be Harrell’s.
Jack Harrell, Jr. is the Harrell-in-charge today and the Harrell’s of the new millennium is the undisputed industry leader for fertilizers, chemicals, grass seed and accessories for growing things throughout the eastern U.S. and the world. Did you know... Harrell’s employs more than 300 service-minded employees, including 120 specialty golf, ornamental and turf & landscape products representatives living throughout the U.S.…our custom-blend fertilizer production exceeds 70,000 tons annually…we serve more than 10,000 customers in the U.S., across the Caribbean, and Central and South America as well as the Middle East and the Pacific Rim…Harrell’s is the preferred supplier for America's finest golf, nursery and turf & landscape properties…and is the exclusive formulator and a leading world distributor of POLYON, the industry’s best controlled-release fertilizer technology.
Growth and success aside, the Harrell’s family remains focused on its 75-year mission: working hard to be the very best supplier and employer, all to further the glory of God’s kingdom.