Homegrown success

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

By Lisa Hobbs

This year marks 44 years of business in the nursery industry for Randall Walker Farms.

Owner Randall Walker is a native of Warren County. He grew up on his parent’s farm where they raised cattle and grew corn and hay.

“Being in the nursery industry is a labor of love. I truly enjoy it,” said Randall. “From an early age, after school and on Saturdays, I would work on the family farm.”

After graduating from Warren County High School in 1973, he attended Middle Tennessee State University and majored in Agricultural Business.

His first crop was fruit trees in 1976. Specifically, peach trees.

“It didn’t take long for me to realize that growing nursery stock was the part of farming that I wanted to do,” he said.

Randall married his high school sweetheart in 1976.

“We were students at Middle Tennessee State University,” said wife Sharon. “Randall would grow things on the weekends and afternoons while still in college. We married in the same year that he planted his first crop of peach trees. We would commute to Murfreesboro so our evenings and weekends were spent taking care of our small, but growing, business.”

Humble beginnings have indeed grown into a business the couple can be proud of. Randall Walker Farms now offers a wide variety of finished nursery stock on about 400 acres in Warren and Grundy counties. The business also includes Viola Valley Berry Farm where crops of blueberries, grapes, muscadines and pumpkins are produced.

“I was a dental hygienist for 36 years, but retired my license five years ago to join the nursery full time,” said Sharon. “It is a family business. Our son Nick and son-in-law Chris Slaughter manage the sales yard on Highway 55.”

In 2015, Randall Walker was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association. This year, the Retailer of the Year Award was bestowed to him by that association.

Randall Walker Farms is located at 8240 Manchester Highway in Morrison. Hours are Monday thru Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The business can be reached at (931) 635-9535.

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