Some months ago, Roderick Arnett, a peer at Perry Wellness Center, applied for employment with Frank Joiner, owner of Farmers Feed and Seed of Americus. Mr. Joiner's thriving business is a local institution, and first opened its doors in 1954, across the street from his current location at 206 N. Hampton. In 1968, more room was needed for his expanded operation, and the complex was moved to its current location.
Frank Joiner is noted for his customer service. With each visit to his operation, customers’ names are called out by his staff of full and part-time employees. Currently, the business also has over 40 unpaid feline door greeters.
"My cat family is important at my operation,” Frank Joiner explains with a smile. “They rid the property of costly rats, snakes and other rodents. We feed and water them, and they are allowed to perch in our store.”
In addition to his customer service, the local businessman believes in being a supportive employer. He is known to help out employees financially and to readily provide a listening ear to others. Joiner also displays a sense of fairness with other local businesses. He purchases most of his inventory in semi-truck loads to save on shipping, then, out of these large loads, supplies other area businesses that would be challenged by the higher prices.
He explains his business position simply: “I have always believed that any time you help others to better themselves, the deed will come back to bless you.”
When approached about employing a recovery center peer, Frank Joiner was more than willing to take a chance, saying, “When I first met ‘A-Rod,’ as he is called, I knew this young man was special from his handshake and eye contact.”
Each new employee enters a training period to be taught proper machine use, stocking, loading, and unloading, display procedures, and customer service. Roderick Arnett shone as he learned his duties. Although not yet certified in handling the operation’s forklifts, he is able to move pallets of feed and grain within the warehouses. His employer is confident he will soon be totally free to do any assigned tasks.
“Roderick brought many talents to our operation,” Mr. Joiner notes. “His desire to learn more, his kindness to people, and his personal drive must be influenced by Perry Wellness Center.”
He tells a story to illustrate Arnett’s character and how he and his employee work closely together. When Roderick Arnett began to earn wages, he discussed taking care of child support and no longer relying upon a government check. “He approached the government office about his desire to work,” Frank Joiner relates. “They shared that they had never had someone give up their check for outside work. He then incurred child support payments each month. I work with him on making these payments.”
Roderick Arnett is equally pleased with his employer. Now working full time, he proudly wears the Farmers Feed and Seed uniform. As he selects vegetable plants for a raised bed garden project with Agrium, Inc. back at Perry Wellness Center, he reflects on his employer: “Mr. Frank and I have a unique friendship, and I am happy to promote his services and kind manner in my church and community.”
As for Frank Joiner’s last thoughts on the subject, he offered this challenge to other local businesses: “I encourage other employees in the Americus area to contact Stuart Perry if they need additional help.”