Establishing his Printing Business
At 19, George gave the small printing press to his son as back wages, and McFarland became a “job printer.” Leveraging his knowledge of horticulture and printing, he established a successful business, specializing in nursery catalogs and horticultural publications. McFarland convinced nurserymen to expand their price lists into horticultural advertisements and catalogs, encouraged producers to expand the growing season, and educated customers on gardening. He founded the Mount Pleasant Press and incorporated as the J. Horace McFarland Company.
McFarland said, “Good results seldom follow random methods.” He applied this throughout his business, demanding high standards and providing employees with solid training and clear procedures, guidelines, and expectations. McFarland treated his staff well with:
- Access to medical care and group life insurance
- Paid vacations
- Help with buying homes
- Employee outings and talks
- No layoffs
Employees reciprocated with their loyalty. Many remained for over 50 years! There were no labor disputes.