Story of Rhynes is one to admire

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Sometimes it just pays to stick it out. And that’s just what Hoffman Rhyne Sr. and his family did.

In this world full of snipers, political battles and doubtful economies, sometimes the stories about people working hard to persevere get lost in the mix.

Like his daddy before him, Rhyne is a farmer. Each year he struggles to make a living from the land. It’s a never-ending cycle, having to fight the land for the right to produce your livelihood.

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But Rhyne has made it work. For the past 10 years, he and his family have been the biggest cotton farmers in Alabama. In a state long known for growing some of the world’s finest cotton, that’s saying something.

But now it has become much cheaper to grow cotton overseas, where labor is a fraction of the cost it is here. That’s one of the prices we must pay for the growth of free trade. Old enterprises become no longer profitable, new enterprises must be pursued.

But the Rhynes have refused to throw in the towel. Over the years they have diversified into other crops in an effort to meet the changing conditions and to boost the bottom line.

Last year, they started yet another operation, this one growing turfgrass. They grow mostly Empire Zoysia, which is highly prized among landscape designers and architects for both its beauty and its ease of maintenance.

They call their new enterprise Rhyne Select Turf.

The day may come when the cotton won’t grow for the Rhynes anymore or perhaps they’ll just no longer be able to make it pay.

If it does, they’ll adapt. Just as they have in the past.

And we’re betting they’ll find a way to be successful at it, too.

In a world with so much negativity, that is surely something to admire.