Alabama Farmers Cooperative, originally the Tennessee Valley Fertilizer Cooperative, was organized in Decatur, Alabama in 1936 by a group of local county co-ops. Upon becoming a single entity, the new cooperative developed a modest plant in Decatur to satisfy the farmers’ need for fairly priced fertilizer.
Over the years, AFC acquired or built additional facilities. Today, AFC has storage facilities for both liquid and dry fertilizer throughout the areas that it serves.
By the 1940s the Co-op began making feed for local cattle and hog farmers. By the 1950s, they were selling tires, lubricants and tools. In 1957, in order to provide a more direct and ready market for farmers’ grain, AFC added a grain marketing service. AFC now owns or manages granaries all over the state and merchandises grain for several other facilities.
In 1961, AFC added a merchandising function to its operations. With the purchase of Farmers Marketing and Exchange Stores, customers could now buy home gardening items, automotive products, hardware and other home needs. Today there are nearly eighty Quality Co-op stores in the system serving the needs of farmers, gardeners and homeowners.
Bonnie Plants, LLC., headquartered in Union Springs, AL, became part of AFC in 1975. Today, Bonnie sells vegetables, herbs and flowering annuals in every state in the continental U.S.
In early 1993, AFC created a financing subsidiary to finance the local cooperative member. Cooperative Financial Services provides financing for member cooperatives’ seasonal and long term needs.
Frank Currie Gin, located in McCullough, AL, became part of AFC in 1997.
In 1999, AFC joined forces with SouthFresh Farms in Indianola, Mississippi, to form SouthFresh Aquaculture, LLC that provides feed, fingerlings and processing for Alabama and Mississippi catfish farmers.
In 2003, Agri-AFC, LLC was formed when AFC and Agri-AFC teamed up to purchase for AFC cooperatives competitively priced crop protectants, crop nutrients and seed.
AFC is a cooperative in the truest sense of the word. All facilities operated by AFC are governed by local, farmer-owned cooperatives. Each member co-op shares in the financial proceeds from AFC operations and benefits from the research and marketing services of the entire co-op system.
AFC has a competent Board of Directors that consists of farmers who actively participate in the agricultural growth of Alabama and Northwest Florida. An unselfish dedication to the mutual objectives of growth and success for its member farmers is the hallmark of this company.
Through diversity and strong leadership, Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc. has grown to become one of the largest farmer owned agriculture related businesses in the Southeast.