Customer-driven ag leader
By Jack Criss
The Bolivar Bullet
WB Agriplastics is a unique and locally-owned ag company based out of McGehee, Arkansas, but which also serves clients in Mississippi and Louisiana. The company has earned a great reputation for offering high-quality, outstanding products coupled with world class customer service.
“Agriplastics are used primarily for watering crops and are critical components on any farm,” explained Cleveland-based Blake Gibson, Director of Engineering and Sales Representative for WB Agriplastics. “The company was founded by Nathan Bailey in early 2017 who started the business initially making a quick patch solution for a certain type of irrigation tubing–a solution which he had patented–but we’ve evolved tremendously over the past four years.”
WB Agriplastics’ polytubing patch is what the company is probably best known for, although WB Agriplastics’ aforementioned evolution involves making and selling a wide variety of other products including mulch films, grain bags and hay supplies. “Our polytubing patch is made by hand at our main facility in McGehee,” said owner and founder Bailey. “We only use top quality materials to provide the longest-lasting polytube patch on the market and they are sewn by professionals here to ensure high strength in higher pressure situations. Our patches have a 1-inch seal on all sides for maximum leak protection and are reusable for many years. They also work great as splicers because they’re much quicker and easier than conventional splicing methods.”
Bailey, who had obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Ag Business from Arkansas State University, reached out to Gibson, who has a Civil Engineering degree from Mississippi State a few months ago to help broaden WB Agriplastics’ reach to Mississippi farmers. “I also have a lot of experience in project management and design and so the fit with Nathan and his company is a good one,” said Gibson. “I saw a great opportunity with a great company.
“Our business is geared more towards a retail basis now,” explained Gibson. “We offer our products primarily through dealers now and they, in turn, sell our pipes, fittings, splices and patches. Initially, we sold directly to the farmers but decided that it would be a more advantageous process for all parties involved to work through dealers such as chemical companies and farm supply companies to get products out to the clients.”
The company recently opened a warehouse in Ruleville–while also running a full-service recycling operation–and expansion plans are certainly part of WB Agriplastics future, said Bailey. “We’ve doubled the business almost every year since starting,” he noted, “and we want to stay on that path, especially in the Mississippi Delta. I’m proud of the team we’ve put together, which is currently at 15 employees, and we are totally customer-driven–I like to say we’re crazy about our customers because it’s true: everything we do is farmer-focused and is one hundred percent service-oriented. We know farming, we know plastics and we know the needs of our customers and how to best provide for those needs.”
The company’s success is also attributable to several other factors, said Gibson, but mainly it’s because “we say what we do and do what we say. It’s that simple, but also that rare sometimes these days. Yes, we offer wholesale prices–but then we also go out and pick up the polytubing for free from the customer and recycle it. But, ultimately, the bottom line is being upfront, honest and dependable while offering quality products. And the fact that we pick up the pipe is very unusual and unique to our company. Our main focus is polypipe. We sell it, we pick it up, we recycle it–we’re a 100% closed loop sustainable business.”
And what does the company want the Delta to know about WB Agriplastics? “Our main focus is polypipe,” answered Bailey. “We sell it, we pick it up, we recycle it. 100% closed loop sustainable business. You won’t find our pipe in a ditch or being buried or burned. That’s because We pick it up.”