Dwight Hughes Jr. is a third generation nurseryman operating Hughes Nursery & Landscaping in Cedar Rapids with his wife Debby since 1978. The nursery is known for its efficiency and innovation. Dwight has designed new machines and devices to make his job faster, which are also sold within his industry. He is respected among his peers and has made over 100 presentations across the United States and Canada on efficient landscape management and field production systems. Dwight has published a book, video and DVD called Systems for Success which provides take-home material from his speaking engagements. Dwight was also past president of the American Nursery and Landscape Association.
Dwight graduated from Iowa State University, paving the way for all three of his children to attend as well. He continues to give back to the Iowa State community in many ways, most notably in giving a substantial gift to a conservatory complex at Reiman Gardens on Iowa State’s campus. The conservatory has allowed ISU to expand its educational opportunities in horticulture, business, and related fields. He is currently an ISU Foundation Governor and a member of ISU’s Order of the Knoll, their most prestigious donor recognition society.
Like most good leaders Dwight very much leads by example when managing and running his nursery. This includes setting a good business model by never purchasing additional machinery or land until he had the full cash to pay for it. The nursery has never been in debt and they made do with the tools and machinery they could afford.
Dwight has also served on many local boards including US Bank, the Science Station, Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Brucemore, Boy Scouts of America, and Kirkwood Community College Foundation.
The Hughes family has been prominent figures in the nursery business since 1908. This is evident when visiting the family museum Dwight created on his land. From the original machinery his grandfather used to the restored and preserved 1917 historic barn that was the original nursery office, Dwight is proud of his family history.
Among Dwight’s many life highlights, his high point has been parenting three responsible, caring children who are successfully contributing to society. Two of his children, Tom and John, now own Hughes Nursery & Landscaping and Dwight works for them! He could not be happier that the family business is continuing with a 4th generation.