Who is Tennessee Farmers Cooperative?

Co-op, recognized as one of the strongest federated farm supply cooperative systems in the nation, includes Tennessee Farmers Cooperative (TFC) and the 52 member Co-ops and 11 associate members in neighboring states that own TFC. At the very foundation are the roughly 70,000 farmers who are member-owners of the local Co-ops in their home counties. Of course, you don’t have to be a member of the Co-op to shop there. Co-op offers quality products for everyone! Some 164 Co-op retail outlets, which operate in 84 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, and across the border in five neighboring states, serve more than half a million customers.

Co-op is a cornerstone in the communities where our retail stores and facilities are located. Co-op is truly your hometown store, locally owned and operated with a well-trained, dedicated staff ready to serve the needs of each and every customer. Because its roots reach back into the soil farmed by its organizers, Co-op always has the best interests of its patrons at heart. And that heritage generates a spirit of cooperation that has molded our system into a closely knit network of individuals and organizations working together for the benefit of the farmers and our other Co-op customers. Co-op is more than a store — it’s a way of life.

How Our Co-op System Works

The Co-op system in Tennessee is a federated system with a circle of ownership. Each member Co-op is an independent business owned by its farmer-members; those local Co-ops, in turn, own TFC. This gives the farmer true ownership of his or her own farm supply and service organization.

Each farmer-member owns one share of voting stock. Those members elect a local board of directors, which establishes that Co-op’s policies and employs the general manager. The daily operation of the business is under the supervision of the general manager, who answers to the board. Savings above the cost of doing business are returned to the member-patron on a patronage basis.

On a state level, the cooperative system in Tennessee is divided into three zones roughly reflecting the three grand divisions of the state — East, Middle, and West Tennessee. Three directors are elected to represent each zone on TFC’s board of directors, each for a three-year term. TFC operates facilities in LaVergne in Middle Tennessee, Tenco at Rockford near Knoxville in East Tennessee, and at Jackson in West Tennessee. Each has its own distribution center, fertilizer plant, and feed mill. In addition, TFC’s offices, metal fabrication plant, and farm equipment facility are located in LaVergne, and a seed-conditioning and vegetable/lawn seed packaging facility at Halls in West Tennessee.

Our Heritage Is Our Standard

When Tennessee Farmers Cooperative was officially chartered on September 27, 1945, a whole new era in Tennessee agriculture began. In the spring of 1944, the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s board of directors had authorized a committee to study farm supply cooperatives in other states to recommend what structure would best serve the needs of Tennessee farmers. After a whirlwind tour of cooperatives in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, the committee, headed by Al Jerdan, marketing specialist with the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, recommended a federated system, similar to those operating in Indiana and Ohio.

After its board accepted the recommendation, the delegate body of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation authorized the organization of the cooperative in November of 1944. Each of TFC’s 33 charter members, which were Farm Bureau supply associations, had an incorporating director to serve until a permanent board could be elected to direct the new regional cooperative. On the afternoon of September 27, 1945, during the first meeting of TFC’s members, a director to represent each of the state’s seven designated districts was elected to the board. With that election — at 1:05 p.m. — TFC was born.

Our Board Of Directors

Our Subsidiaries

TFC has purchased and established subsidiary companies to provide additional services, extend its reach into other markets, and grow its business. Though these companies are not operated as cooperatives, the revenue they generate and the services they provide strengthen the entire Co‑op system.

Commitment To Community

Co-op was organized on the idea that together we can make a difference. That’s why Co-op is committed to championing important causes through sponsorship, scholarship, partnership, and fellowship.

Through Co-op’s ongoing support of agricultural organizations, colleges and universities… youth education… conferences … field days … fairs … and other events, we are shaping the future of farming and ensuring continued growth and prosperity for our cooperative system. In total, we give more than $250,000 yearly in financial contributions alone, not to mention volunteer time, product donations, and in-kind sponsorships.

Statewide, the most consistent support is given to 4-H and FFA as well as Ag-in-the-Classroom. We’re heavily involved with junior livestock projects, horse shows, leadership development, and many other youth activities at the local, regional, and state levels.

Our Events: