April 2018
Co-op Matters

Celebrating 44 Years of Service

Larry Bennich retires from AFC Board of Directors.

  Larry Bennich

Larry Bennich’s 44-year tenure as an active member of Alabama Farmers Cooperative Board of Directors concluded at AFC’s 81st Annual Membership Meeting in Montgomery in February.

Bennich was joined by his family at a dinner in his honor held the evening before the annual meeting. Rivers Myres, AFC’s president and CEO, recognized the milestones moments of Bennich’s service.

"Mr. Bennich has served with five CEOs," Myres said. "Since 1974, AFC’s sales have grown from $50 million to $500 million today. We purchased Bonnie Plants in 1975, entered catfish market in 1989 and created Southfresh in 1999, created Cooperative Financial Services in 1993, purchased Currie Gin in 1998, created Agri-AFC in 2003, partnered with ScottsMiracle-Gro in 2016 and purchased Faithway Feed in 2018. The leadership he has provided over the past 44 years and the decisions he made as a director, while challenging, have helped make this company what it is today."

Staff and friends shared stories and extended their gratitude for his contributions to AFC over the years.

"There’s one thing I’ve always respected about you," said Bill Sanders, who has served as an AFC board director alongside Bennich since 1989. "No matter what decision was being made I knew you believed this decision was what was best for this organization – it was what was best for AFC – it was what was best for the people we represent. I think that’s one of the highest qualities we as board members can have."

Bennich received a standing ovation as Chairman Mike Tate presented him a Resolution of Appreciation to be filed in AFC’s permanent records.

Larry Bennich’s family attended the dinner in his honor. From left are Sport and Susan Bennich and their children, Tyler and Chelsea; Larry, Linda and Jill.

"Therefore Be It Resolved, that on the occasion of his transition from the position of Active Board Director of Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc. to Honorary Board Director of Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc.," Tate read, "this Board of Directors and Membership hereby conveys to Mr. Bennich their appreciation for his forty-four years of distinguished service to the agricultural community at large; and that this Board and Membership does wish for Larry and Linda many more years of good health, happiness and fulfillment in life."