By Anna Clark
Weakley Farmers Co-op manager, young businessman, and family man Paul Ryne Wilson of Martin, has his roots deeply planted in this area, his arms around those he loves, and his vision placed squarely on making a positive difference in West Tennessee.
“I want to continue to be a part of this community and give back to the area that has given me so much,” he said. “Martin is my hometown. I want to be a part of the growth and change.”
Wilson is married to Jaclynn Wilson, UT Martin head coach for volleyball and beach volleyball. The Wilsons, who met through a friend at UT Martin, have a daughter, Cali Ryne, 1, and another daughter expected in September. Cali was born on New Year’s Eve in 2017, a birthday that she shares with her grandmother, Donna Wilson of Martin, who predicted Cali’s birth date and was more than a little excited that her prediction came true.
Happy to be living and working in this area, Paul and his wife Jaclynn, who grew up in Columbus, Ohio, but who is now fully committed to West Tennessee, will celebrate their second anniversary on July 22. Paul said that he and Jaclynn are deeply interested in each other’s work and activities.
“Actually,” Paul said, “we are both competitive. We like to succeed at what we do, and we want to see others succeed around us.”
Indeed this young power couple has much to offer the area as they work toward the success of student-athletes at UT Martin and in serving the community through the Co-op and also through West Tennessee Pool and Spa, owned by Paul Wilson and his father, Rick Wilson, Sr., who has worked in the ag industry business for 36 years.
When discussing vision for Weakley Farmers Co-op, Paul Wilson said, “I would like for all in the county to be more aware of the services we have at the Co-op — the store front retail, which is for everyone, not just farmers; the important seed, fertilizer, and crop protection aspect of the Co-op; and the full-service garage we manage here.”
“For example,” Wilson said, “if you have tire trouble in town, you can call us and we will come to you, fix your tire, and help you get going again. And, as with everything we do here, we will treat you right.”
Wilson explained that services at the garage include “oil changes, routine maintenance, and anything related to tires.”
“And the store,” he said, “we want farmers and everyone to come here, to come by and see what we have. We have lawn and garden supplies, fuel, tires, everything you need for animal health, and more.”
Stressing that the Co-op reflects that hometown personal touch and personal service, Wilson said, “We will even carry your dog food to the car for you.”
Paul Ryne Wilson’s personal happiness, friendliness, expertise in all things related to farming, and desire to promote business in the area make him an engaging person to meet. It is clear that he appreciates his roots in this area, his education in the Martin public schools (he graduated from Westview in 2002), and those who helped him toward his graduation at UT Martin in 2007.
“I majored in marketing at UT Martin,” he said. Dr. Kay Durden helped me get through. Yes, Miss Kay was good to me.”
Paul explained that he attended his first year of college on a football scholarship and that Dr. Durden helped with advising for athletes. Paul played football for one year and then worked as a student assistant for the team for another year.
Although football was such an important part of the Wilsons’ family life for many years before Paul and Jaclynn married, it is safe to surmise that now volleyball has taken over the emphasis in the Wilson family.
Weakley Farmers Co-op, which is advertised as “your hometown store” and employs more than 40 people, is located at 330 Nash St. in Martin and the telephone is (731) 587-9531. For the convenience of all Weakley County citizens, a branch of the Co-op is located at 2780 Meridian St. in Greenfield.
The Co-op has been in Weakley County for 74 years, but Wilson is new to his position as general manager. However, he is not new to agriculture, marketing, and responding to the needs of farmers and citizens of the county.
Wilson became general manager of the Weakley Farmers Co-op on Feb. 13 of this year when Thomas Chandler of Gleason, retired after serving as general manager for 13 years.
“I was born and raised here in Martin. I grew up with agriculture business all around me,” Wilson said. “My brother Rick, Jr. (married with three children and living in Alamo) and my dad (Rick, Sr. of Union City) are both involved in agriculture, and I began working in agriculture as soon as I graduated from UT Martin.”
Wilson worked in the ag industry in the middle Tennessee area for nine years before coming back to Martin.
Since October 2017, Paul has also served as co-owner of West TN Pool and Spa, a family-owned business located in MidTown Martin on North Lindell Street, that has 10 employees and specializes in pools, spas, and outdoor living accessories. The business serves West Tennessee, Western Kentucky, and Southeast Missouri, and surrounding areas. “Contact us today” said Paul, “to get started on your slice of paradise.”
Paul and Jaclynn are excited to be part of a community that is moving forward. “We are all busy,” he said, “but the key to giving back to the community is to get involved, to have goals and vision, and to move forward with family and friends by your side.”
The Profiles of Emerging Leaders series seeks to highlight professionals in the county who are investing in the community on multiple levels. Subscribers to the Press have been introduced to city, county, business and faith leaders. To subscribe, call 731-587-3144.