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Owned by you, built for you

By Jeff Wilkerson, TFC Hardware Senior Product Manager 10/1/2018


Jeff Wilkerson, TFC Hardware Senior Product Manager
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Owned by you, built for you” is a statement you have been seeing quite a bit for the last couple of years in The Cooperator advertisements for Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s Metal Fabrication Plant or, as most of us say, the “Gate Plant.”

“Owned by you, built for you” is not simply a slogan. It’s a short summary of exactly what this facility is all about. The “owned by you” part is exactly what it says: the business is owned by all the Co-op’s farmer members from across Tennessee and surrounding states. The “built for you” part is our purpose as we strive every day to manufacture products that provide value to you, the farmer/owner.

What is value? Quite simply, products made from the best materials that will meet the intended needs and last long enough to justify the cost.

A prime example is the Co-op SHD (Super Heavy Duty) Hay Ring (#15641). These feeders are made of 12-gauge, clear-coat galvanized tubing.

The 12-gauge tubing is 75 percent thicker and heavier than 16-gauge tubing and 190 percent thicker and heavier than 20-gauge tubing. The clear coat extends the life of the galvanization considerably longer than a non-clear-coat product. The bottom line is it will take several lesser-quality feeders to equal the service and life of one of these quality feeders. These are also available in a skirted model (#15648) and hay saver cone feeder (#156481).

The line of SHD gates manufactured at the facility is also superior to just about any other brand on the market. They are available in standard height and extra tall, which features a seven-bar height. These gates are all made of heavy two-inch tubing and will stand up to the most demanding livestock crowding situations.

As the Gate Plant staff pursues their “built for you” mission, they are constantly striving to develop new products and making improvements to existing ones to better serve the customer. One example of this effort is the waterer panels that fit over energy-free watering tanks when they are installed in a fence line application. As far as I know, this innovative product is only available at Co-op, and it makes these installations super easy.

The Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program can make eligible items even more of a value by allowing qualified producers to recover up to 50 percent of the costs of many of these products. Be sure to visit your local Co-op to purchase Tennessee-made hay feeders, gates, corral panels, or mineral feeders. Visit for more Ag Enhancement information and a list of eligible items from the LaVergne, Tenn., plant … built for YOU.

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