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  • At the conclusion of World War II, Tennesseans begin to show an intense interest in forming their own farm supply business. They dreamed of having a dependable source for production inputs needed for their farming operations.
  • The Tennessee Farm Bureau begins looking into a statewide farm cooperative to provide a steady, dependable source of quality supplies. In April, the TFB board of directors forms a committee to make a nationwide study of cooperatives in other states. One of the committee members is A. L. Jerdan, marketing specialist with the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service on Knoxville, who recommends that a federated cooperative system be established in Tennessee. Jerdan is generally credited as most responsible for getting TFC off the ground and is called the "father of Co-op" in Tennessee.
1944 Photo.
 
 
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  • Tennessee Farmers Cooperative was chartered on September 27, 1945, in Nashville, with 33 member cooperatives. At 1:05pm, the first TFC board of directors is elected and the cooperative becomes a reality.
1945 Photo.
 
 
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  • On January 1, J.B. Jones is named first general manager of TFC.
  • CF Industries, Inc., established as Central Farmers Fertilizer Co., began as a broker for sales of fertilizer products to farmer-members with the goal of becoming the nation's major fertilizer supplier for agricultural cooperatives.
  • Feed, seed, and fertilizer products are TFC's main focus in its first year of operation. Petroleum and hardware items will soon follow.
  • TFC opens its doors for business at the Institute Building in Columbia in July 1, 1946. The first supplies are sold to Maury Farmers Cooperative - a load of government wheat.
  • TFC was just a few days shy of its 6-month birthday when it held its first annual meeting at the Andrew Jackson Hotel in downtown Nashville on March 20 and 21, 1946. TFC had a humble beginning, losing $936.46 in its first five months of operation and $4,800.59 during calendar year 1946.
1946 Photo.
 
 
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  • TFC hires its first fieldman, Thomas Phillips, a student at UT Knoxville.
  • TFC's "Building Supplies" program begins with the purpose of offering farmers products for the maintenance of buildings, fences, and equipment. In its first years, the program was seriously hampered by a lack of steel allocation based on prior consumption. Products in this department, the forerunner of our modern-day Hardware Department, included fencing, paint, baler twine and feeders.
  • In its first year of offering feed manufactured by M.F.A Milling Company in Springfield Mo., TFC sells 50 railcars of feed statewide. By 1950, that number had increased to 860 cars.
1947 Photo.
 
 
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  • TFC leases warehouse space in Jackson to serve West Tennessee.
  • The first training program is developed under the leadership of Tom Phillips. Since then, TFC's Training Department has been instrumental in recruiting and educating capable individuals to assume key management and technology positions throughout the Co-op system. At first the department was mainly responsible for grooming a small pool of "trainees" to take on the general manager roles at the new cooperatives that were recruiting promising talent to fill all types of Co-op positions, overseeing 32 Co-op scholarships awarded each year, administering an annual intern program, providing training for member Co-op directors, and working with youth activities.
1948 Photo.
 
 
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  • TFC's headquarters are moved to Fogg Street in Nashville.
  • TFC introduces "high-analysis" fertilizer - 6-12-12 - an "unheard-of" product until Co-ops made it available for the first time to Tennessee farmers.
1949 Photo.
 
 
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