Barry Johnson ’87 had a great experience at the university while working on his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering. Johnson is currently the owner of Blooming Colors Nursery and Landscaping and has worked for Quaker Oats company and Kraft Foods as a Project Engineer.
What degrees have you received from Texas A&M University?
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering, 1987.
What drew you to Texas A&M University?
The University has a reputation for having a strong engineering program with different types of engineering available to study. I wanted to work in the horticultural industry and found several majors and course work that allowed me to study engineering and horticulture.
What was your time like at Texas A&M University and the department?
I had a great experience. Both my older brother (an electrical engineer) and my twin brother (industrial engineering) were going to Texas A&M. Also, I met a lifelong friend, Wayne Little, during Fish Camp at TAMU who has worked with me for the past 24 years. We all studied hard during the week and then looked forward to the weekend eating pizza and playing basketball at the Grove and the Sweat Box (the old gyms on the side of Rollie G. White).
What are you doing now?
Upon graduating, I worked for 3 years as a Food Project Engineer for Quaker Oats Company making Wolf Brand Chili, Van Camp Pork and Beans and Gatorade in their Dallas plant. I worked 4 years as a Senior Project Engineer for Kraft Foods making margarine, marshmallows, caramels, mayonnaise, BBQ and tartar sauces. For both jobs, I designed and installed new processing and labeling equipment for the production of their food products. It was a very rewarding and great job. My best project was inventing and installing the three-coloring system for individual marshmallows. If you have eaten a colored marshmallow, it most likely came off this high-speed pump and extruder.
One of the highlights of my career was when I completed my Texas Registered Professional Engineer license while working at Quaker Oats.
I started my own company, Blooming Colors Nursery and Landscaping, in 1992 and opened my first store in 1994. We’ve been in business for 28 years with our current store located in Grapevine, Texas which houses both the landscape and maintenance departments as well as our 4-acre retail garden center. The main part of our business is landscape design and installation. I have five landscape designers and three installation crews that keep busy installing turnkey landscapes and new backyard patios and outdoor entertaining areas. The garden center specializes in large trees and the best color and perennial selection in Dallas-Fort Worth. It is the place to get your questions answered by Master Certified Nursery Professionals and choose from the huge selection of plants and trees.
What are some of your hobbies or activities?
My two hobbies are raising various farm animals and restoring muscle cars. I have chickens, goats and a llama (his name is Wilson). I enjoy the egg production and learning how to care for them. I enjoy building things and restoring older cars like the ones I drove in high school and college. It was a great way to teach my son common sense and how to complete projects. He ended up being a much better mechanic than me.
Article by Stephanie Mena
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