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.