Tennessee Farmers Cooperative received its charter of incorporation from the state on Sept. 27, 1945, with 33 member Co-ops. Today, the Co-op in Tennessee includes TFC and 57 member cooperatives. Each of TFC’s member Co-ops is a separate, independent cooperative business owned and controlled by farmer members in their home counties. The nearly 150 Co-op retail outlets, which operate in 83 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, serve more than half a million customers across the state. Five member Co-ops also have branch retail stores in neighboring states of Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Mississippi. TFC is a federated cooperative system, which means there is a pyramid of ownership. The farmer members own their local Co-ops; those local Co-ops, in turn, own TFC. This gives the farmer true ownership of his or her own farm supply and service organization. Any savings above the cost of doing business are returned to the members on a patronage basis. With its headquarters in LaVergne, Tennessee, USA and facilities in East and West Tennessee, TFC has a total of three distribution centers, three fertilizer plants, five feed mills (supporting 67 feed dealers), a metal fabrication plant, a farm equipment facility, and a maintenance shop. In addition, a seed conditioning and vegetable and lawn seed packaging facility are located in West Tennessee, and TFC operates barge terminals in Nashville and Ft. Loudon in East Tennessee. Not only does a farmer’s involvement with his Co-op extend beyond the boundaries of his farm and home county, but it indeed reaches well outside Tennessee. TFC is associated with other farmer cooperatives in joint ventures to explore, develop, produce, and procure certain products, conduct research, and promote the cooperative way of doing business. For 57 years Tennessee Farmers Cooperative has been a member of CRF, joining in 1965.
TENNESSEE FARMERS COOPERATIVE