Libby is the heart and soul of Harvest, the living embodiment of all of the qualities that Harvest strives to promote. First and foremost, Libby has been an Arkansas small business entrepreneur for her entire forty-plus year professional career. Prior to founding Harvest, Mrs. Barnett was the long-standing owner and operator of Conway Gardens & Pools, a retail gardening and greenhouse business that also offers swimming pool construction, year-round maintenance and retail swimming pool equipment and products. Founded in 1992 at its current location on Prince Street in Conway, the business has enjoyed twenty-five years of the Conway community’s loyalty and respect, becoming an acknowledged favorite destination for knowledgeable advice, service and products.
Second, Libby is an ardent supporter of Women’s causes and has been an active leader in her chosen industry. For example, she served in many capacities on the Nurseryman’s Association Board and in the year 2000 was chosen to serve as President of the Board. During her helm as president, one of the important changes she championed and accomplished was the broadening of the associations’ mission to be more inclusive of gender and other supportive businesses. This led to the associations’ name change from the outdated Arkansas Nurserymen’s Association to the Arkansas Green Industry Association (AGIA) that year. Over the last twenty-five years, she also achieved the status of Arkansas Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional (ACNLP) and was also the guest speaker at many major industry events, including being a keynote speaker at the state-wide conference of the Master Gardener’s Association held in Conway.
In addition, Mrs. Barnett served as President of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) in 1988. NAWBO is an organization that focuses on propelling women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. Mrs. Barnett’s major focus during her presidency was the difficulty women experience with funding small business start-ups so she created a statewide conference that year held in Little Rock entitled “Credit Where Credit’s Due”. She brought together well-known speakers, bankers, lenders, financial advisors and the Small Business Association (SBA) as advisors for hopeful entrepreneurial women from all over the state. Spring-boarding from the success of the event, Mrs. Barnett became a guest speaker at numerous SBA “women in business” events and was featured in television and radio advertising to encourage the women of Arkansas to start their own small businesses.