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Rodd Moesel presides over an Oklahoma Farm Bureau event. Photo by Dustin Mielke.

Nurturing the Future: Moesels devote a lifetime to growing horticultural business

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Media Contact: Sophia Fahleson | Digital Communications Specialist | 405-744-7063 | sophia.fahleson@okstate.edu

The florescent lights flickered in the early morning hours, dancing off the leaves in the greenhouse. The sounds of water and shifting flowerpots filled the air.

While most people were just starting their day, a young Rodd Moesel was finishing his chores before catching the bus to school.

As he helped load the last crate of plants onto his family’s produce truck, excitement consumed him. Today was produce sale day, which meant Moesel’s Hort Haven was set for a busy day.

Founded in 1956 by Dick and Marjorie Moesel, Moesel’s Hort Haven was a widely known produce stand, greenhouse and nursery in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. The Moesels relocated to Oklahoma City in 1963, after the births of their four children: Rodd, Eva, Bruce and Douglas Moesel.

“While some kids had livestock to feed, I had plants to take care of,” said Rodd Moesel, owner and operator of American Plant Products and Services.

Rodd Moesel, a second-generation horticulturist, took his family’s business, Moesel’s Hort Haven, and started American Plant Products and Services, a wholesale growing and supply operation that has served Oklahoma for 50 years.

What began as Rodd Moesel’s way to raise and save money for college, American Plant and Product Services has grown to be an internationally recognized distributor of all plant and greenhouse essentials.

As the grandson of multi-generational dairy farmers and son of first-generation horticulturists, Rodd Moesel has dedicated his entire life to the agricultural industry, he said.

Part of that service has been in Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Elected in 2017 as OKFB president, Rodd Moesel has become a public figure for the state’s agricultural sector, representing Oklahoma agriculture on both the state and national level.

“Rodd is a studier and thinker,” said Thad Doye, executive director of OKFB. “He sees the bigger picture for all of Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Rodd helps the OKFB members and non-members by engaging and educating youth, collegiate adults, and all others from politics to the soil.”

Rodd Moesel’s leadership experience began in Oklahoma 4-H, first at the club level and then the county.

His mother served as one of his 4-H leaders and encouraged him to pursue his inherited passion for horticulture and supported him to achieve multiple 4-H state and national titles and awards, he said.

As an adult, he was elected as the 2008-09 Oklahoma 4-H Foundation president, has served on the Oklahoma State University Agriculture Dean’s Council for more than 30 years, and co-chaired the agricultural fundraising committee for the OSU Foundation.

Rodd Moesel credits Oklahoma 4-H and OSU for the many opportunities available to him since his childhood.

Rodd Moesel studied horticulture and political science at OSU. Though Rodd Moesel did not earn a degree because of his work schedule and family obligations, he has had a long-standing relationship with the college, he said.

“I’m all Cowboy,” Rodd Moesel said.

Rodd Moesel created a name and business for himself, but he said one person has been a crucial part to his success: Dona Moesel, his wife of 48 years, has been along for it all.

As the co-owner and operator of American Plant Products and Services, Dona Moesel has dedicated most of her life to learning and operating within the horticultural industry.

Shortly after the couple met through mutual friends, Dona Moesel began working part time for Rodd Moesel’s parents at their family greenhouse during her college years.

“They were so welcoming and willing to teach me,” Dona Moesel said.

“I learned most of what I know from Rodd’s family,” Dona Moesel said. “I continue to love learning.”

Dona Moesel studied computer sciences at OSU-Oklahoma City. The career change to horticulture was drastic, she said, but she has enjoyed learning alongside her husband.

“I get to watch Rodd achieve so many things in his career,” Dona Moesel said. “As long as I get to come along and achieve a few things that I like, we’re doing pretty good.”

At American Plant Products and Services, employees are like part of the Moesel family, Rodd Moesel said.

A full-time staff of 30 employees manages the greenhouses, works in the office and store, handles shipments, and builds greenhouses.

“We have a responsibility to help prepare the future of agriculture and rural Oklahoma,” Rodd Moesel said.

To provide for the future generations, the Moesels established the Rodd & Dona Moesel Washington, D.C., Agricultural Leadership Intern Scholarship for OSU students interested in agriculture and rural policy.

Family has been the root of Rodd Moesel’s success, he said. By continuing his family’s legacy, Rodd Moesel has created one of his own.

Story by: Cheyenne Leach | Cowboy Journal

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