July 2008
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Limestone Farmers Co-op

  J. W. Hudson

Remembers J.W. Hudson
The Limestone Farmers Co-op (LFC) lost a valued friend and employee on February 10, 2008. J.W. Hudson, retired manager of the LFC, died in Huntsville Hospital from complications after surgery. He was 79 years old.

J.W. worked for the Co-op for many years. He was first hired at the age of 17 in 1946. Back then the Co-op, along with selling seed, feed, fertilizer, coal, petroleum and regular business items, also sold building materials and built houses. The Co-op even made concrete blocks. During this time, the LFC decided to open a branch office in Elkmont and J.W. was asked to manage it. However, he was called to active-duty in Korea, and while he was gone, the branch closed.

In 1957, Mr. Henry H. (Bill) Adam resigned as manager of LFC and went to Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC) located in Decatur. The board of directors hired Mr. Archie Baugher as manager of LFC and J.W. accepted the job as assistant manager.

The years 1961 through 1977 saw continued growth at the Co-op. Buildings and materials were dropped from the departments and only farm supplies and services were kept.

In 1979, Archie Baugher retired from the Co-op as manager and the Board of Directors asked J.W. to be manager. He accepted this responsibility and over the years the Co-op continued to grow and remain strong.

In 1980, J.W. was awarded the E.P. Garrett Manager of the Year Award.

During these years with LFC, J.W. also became active in several agricultural-related organizations. He served on the Alabama Chemical Association for two terms, the Alabama Soil Fertility Society, President of the Alabama Seedsman Association, the Alabama Feed and Grain Association, and the Athens-Limestone Chamber of Commerce. He was also a charter member of the first Board of Directors of NARA (National Agricultural Retailers Association) in Washington D.C. and was president of the Alabama Crop Management Association in 1994. J.W. was also a board member of the Certified Crop Advisors (CCA), a member of AFC’s Leadership Council and, in 1992, received the E.P. Garrett Manager of the Year award for the second time. J.W. was selected as a member of Who’s Who among American Executives for 1994-1995.

J.W. went on to retire from Limestone Farmers Co-op on December 31, 1995 with 50 years of service. He loved the Co-op and never lost his interest in it. He will be sorely missed but his legacy will continue. He was truly a servant leader. Godspeed, J.W.

"This is my advice to anyone in any of AFC Co-op systems over the state: work hard and if you have dreams - pursue them. Nothing is impossible to anyone who is willing to work! Treat fellow employees and customers in a way that you would want to be treated!" —- J.W. Hudson, 1993