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Rising sharply

Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s 17th 4-H/FFA Case pocketknife raises $31,650
Story by Allison Parker Photos by Chris Villines 1/1/2018


Sales of Co-op’s attractively designed 2017 commemorative 4-H/FFA Case pocketknife raised more than $31,000 for the youth organizations.
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Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s popular 4-H/FFA Case pocketknife series has had yet another successful year with its 17th commemorative knife in the popular series.

More than 3,100 of the 2017 knife were sold, raising $31,650 that will be split equally between the state’s 4-H and FFA Foundations. This year’s tally has increased TFC’s contributions to more than $380,000 since the knife program’s beginning in 2001.

Julia Knaggs of Sumner County, State FFA President, and Aaron Lay of Monroe County, State 4-H Council Vice President, accepted the check on behalf of their respective organizations on Nov. 27 during TFC’s 2017 annual meeting at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Both young leaders expressed their appreciation to attendees, including member Co-op directors and staff, along with TFC employees and special guests during the luncheon.

Knaggs thanked the group by saying, “This donation is proof that the Co-op is there every year to provide us with the resources we need to continue to grow leaders, build communities, and strengthen agriculture. On behalf of the Tennessee FFA Association, I’d like to thank TFC for their support today and for their continued support for agriculture.”

Lay, who has enjoyed showing cattle through the 4-H program since elementary school, also thanked the audience for supporting the worthwhile organization: “Each year, my parents have gifted me and my siblings a Co-op 4-H and FFA knife. Thank you for allowing my family to continue this tradition. Generous supporters like yourselves allow 4-H to continue to make a positive impact on the lives of 180,000 4-Hers in the great state of Tennessee.”

Kenneth Nixon, TFC Board Chairman, expressed his appreciation for the support of the knife program during the check presentation.

“I want to stress that this unique knife program works because of the support from our member managers, the commitment from employees in the Home, Lawn, and Specialty Department, and our strong partnership with Case,” said Nixon.

Alongside Nixon presenting the check was Maury Ford, Vice President of Sales Operations with W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company. Ford also addressed the crowd, and lauded the Co-op system for its continued support.

“We thank you from the bottom of our heart for letting us be an American-made company that you support and that the Co-op supports with this program,” he said. “We thank you for what you do on a daily basis and hope that we can continue this for many years to come.”

According to Chance Martin, the program administer and a product manager in TFC’s HLS Department, this year’s limited edition collector’s item is straight out of the Case vault.

“What made this year’s knife so collectable was that Case brought it out of the vault,” he says. “This style will go back into the vault after these knife sales end and will not be coming back out again for many years.”

The 2017 Co-op 4-H and FFA commemorative knife is a Case medium congress pattern. This collector’s item features Tru-Sharp Surgical Stainless-Steel blades, sheepsfoot and pen blades, and a jigged molasses bone handle.  The knife has FFA and 4-H logos deeply engraved on the nickel silver bolsters, the Case and Co-op logos are printed on one blade, and the FFA and 4-H logos, as well the year, are on the other blade. The annual knife is packaged in a one-of-a-kind, full-color box designed by TFC.

“Co-op supports programs like 4-H and FFA because they give back to what we as a company believe in – the future of agriculture,” says Martin. “We give back to the people who give to us.”

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