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  • TFC acquires 13.3 acres in LaVergne, builds the first farmer-owned fertilizer plant in Tennessee, and begins superphosphate production. The fertilizer plant is the first major investment that the new cooperative makes in fixed assets, and will serve the entire state until the Tenco mill is completed in 1952. The need for higher grades of fertilizer had largely precipitated the launching of the Co-op system in the 1940’s.
  • Several bulk petroleum plants are placed in operation at member Co-ops to better provide farmers with oils, greases, and fuel. Crockett Farmers Cooperative had the first cooperatively owned bulk plant in the state, followed by Smith, Hardin, Dyer, Blount, and Weakley.
1944 Photo.
 
 
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  • An engineering Division is set up to help plan, develop, and construct TFC and member Co-op facilities.
1944 Photo.
 
 
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  • A 20,000-square-foot seed warehouse in LaVergne is completed. The building serves as storage for seed products and contains seed-cleaning equipment.
  • The Tenco fertilizer plant, located nine miles south of Knoxville, is built as TFC’s second fertilizer plant farmers in East Tennessee.
1944 Photo.
 
 
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  • new warehouse is built at Tenco, with room for future expansion. The facility also contains field offices for East Tennessee.
1944 Photo.
 
 
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  • TFC moves its offices from Nashville to LaVergne.
  • TFC’s seed-cleaning program gets under way, with 2 million pounds of Tennessee-produced seed processed in the new LaVergne plant. In anticipation of growth, 10,000 square feet are added to the seed plant.
  • TFC-sponsored radio programs become an important medium to spread the word about Co-op statewide. The 1954 annual report says “few advertising pr promotional efforts to date have resulted in as much favorable comment, prestige value, or direct sales production or both TFC and the county Co-ops.”
  • On Apr 19, J. Franklin I appointed TFC’s second general manager.
1944 Photo.
 
 
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  • Sales reach $10 million. Fertilizer accounted for 46 percent, seed 17 percent, and feed 15 percent. Some $2 million of that amount was in what was described as the “lesser divisions” in the commodity program: Hardware, Insecticides and Petroleum.
  • By the end of 1955, all bank notes had been paid and TFC os owned by the farmers of Tennessee.
1945 Photo.
 
 
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  • TFC purchases existing fertilizer plant in Halls to serve the needs of West Tennesee farmers.
  • TFC adds 127 acres adjoining property in LaVergne for future expansion.
  • Construction of LaVergne feed mills begins. In an effort to increase volume and help justify the construction of TFC’s own feed mill, the Co-op Quality Feed program begins with a new bag design, improved merchandising, and more advertising.
1946 Photo.
 
 
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  • FC’s quality control lab becomes operational for testing of seed, feed, and fertilizer samples.
1947 Photo.
 
 
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  • TFC’s first mill opens in LaVergne in February and produces 30,000 tons in its first year.
1948 Photo.
 
 
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  • A tire-recapping plant begin operations to provide farmers with a farm market for their used tires and, at the same time, a source of first-quality recaps for both automobile and farm equipment.
  • TFC buys Delta Seed Corp. and establishes the Halls Seed Plant.
  • TFC becomes part-owner of FFR Cooperative, originally established as Farmers Forage Research. Today, this interregional plant-breeding cooperative continues to manage and coordinate extensive genetic research and testing in on-farm evaluations throughout major crop production areas. Through its efforts, FFR shortens the time required to bring new crop varieties through the laboratory to the farmers’ fields. Headquartered at West Lafayette, Ind., FFR has two locations in Tennessee – a soybean research and testing operation at Jackson and a forage research plot at Franklin.
  • The Tennessee Cooperative debuts in May, with its first issue designed as a four-page newspaper focused on farming news and Co-op events. The Cooperator was heralded as an “important ew step” by then TFC board chairman Claude Jones of Rutherford County, who described it as a “link between our farmers and their Co-op.” Through its design and content mix had changed through the years, the Cooperator continues to serve as the Co-op voice in Tennessee, promoting products abd services, recognizing accomplishments of farmers, educating readers about their state, advancing agriculture and connecting the Co-op community.
1959 Photo.
 
 
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