April 2018
Co-op Matters

Rick Hendricks Joins AFC Board of Directors

A third-generation farmer from Jay, Florida, Rick operates a family-run cotton, peanut and cattle farm on 2,500 acres.

From left, Rush, Nina, Rick, Tessa and Brandt Hendricks.

 

Richard "Rick" Hendricks recently accepted a position on Alabama Farmers Cooperative’s Board of Directors. He was installed at the August 2017 board meeting.

Rick, 59, is a native of Jay, Florida, located just 5 miles south of the Alabama state line. He is a third-generation farmer and attended Livingston University, now the University of West Alabama, where he had some playing time as a freshman team quarterback.

The 2,500-acre family farm produces peanuts, cotton and commercial cattle. He utilizes a three-year crop rotation with cotton being grown for two years followed by peanuts. The commercial cattle operation consists of 250 brood cows fed hay that is produced on the farm.

Rick’s grandfather, Barnett Hendricks, began the family farm on 40 acres after moving from Allgood, where the family home was located. Barnett passed away when Rick’s father, B.D., was only 17.

B.D. started farming part time after marrying Virginia in 1954 and over time expanded the acreage to 2,500. While the farm has always grown peanuts, it converted from soybean to cotton production in the 1980s.

 

Above, an aerial shot shows the expanse of Hendricks’ farm. Below, cotton is harvested at the Hendricks farm.

Rick said his father confronted him about the future of the farm when he left for college.

"He had my sister and me in mind to one day take over what he was building here," Rick said.

Rick’s father passed away in 2017. Virginia is 82 and the beloved family matriarch. She worked as a bookkeeper at a local bank for 20 years, and is still involved in bookkeeping on the farm.

"She might outlive me," Rick said.

Rick returned to the family farm and married Nina, a registered nurse who teaches health vocational classes at Jay High School. Together they have three children: Brandt, 29, who played baseball at the University of Alabama and has a MBA in Finance; Rush, 27, who played football at the University of South Alabama and has a doctorate in Physical Therapy; and Tessa, 24, who graduated with a Communications degree from the University of Alabama and works for an investment firm in New York City.

Brandt and two of his cousins, Tanner, 25, and Todd, 24, are daily partners on the farm.

Rick said he doesn’t have any hobbies outside of family and farming.

"With two boys playing college sports, we traveled so much I didn’t have time to do much else besides farm," he said.

Rick’s parents were named the Farm Family of the Year for Santa Rosa County [Florida] in 1983. Rick and his family received the same honor in in 2015.

Rick also serves on Jay Peanut Farmers Co-op’s board and as a trustee at Jay United Methodist Church.

 

Rebecca Oliver is a freelance writer from Auburn.