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Getting reacquainted

Ag1 Co-op stages grand reopening for community
Story and photos by Hannah Lewis 11/18/2020


Products like Powersports CF Moto all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides and Simplicity mowers were displayed prominently during Ag1's Sept. 12 grand reopening event. Those product lines were among the new items available at the Putnam location.
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Customers of Ag1’s Cookeville store recently had the opportunity to get reacquainted with an old friend when the Co-op hosted a grand re-opening event Saturday, Sept. 12.

Numerous changes have taken place at the Co-op in Cookeville, many of which are a direct result of improvements after the merging of Putnam and Overton Pickett Farmers Cooperatives to create the new Ag1 Co-op.  Officials felt the time was right to roll out those changes to the public and invite both old and new customers to stop by for a closer look.

“We wanted to do a re-opening because we’ve remodeled, painted, and brought in some new products,” says Ag1Farmers

Co-op General Manager Brian Gilliam. “We would have liked to have done it earlier in the year, but we’ve been busy with re-merchandising the store. This event also gave us an opportunity to answer any questions the community might have about the merger and the name change.”

Ag1 restructured to better serve the upper Cumberland area, says Gilliam. The merger allows the Co-op to operate more efficiently, and in many cases, offer additional products and services to its customers. Ag1 now has four locations including stores in Livingston, Cookeville, Byrdstown, and Monticello, Ky.

As the cooperatives came together, the board and management knew they wanted to continue to focus on agronomy and feed while adding products with greater appeal to a wide range of customers through emphasis on the “hometown store” side of their business.

“The Cookeville location has a lot of walk-in customers, so we thought bringing in some new products to appeal to them would be a good idea,” says Gilliam. “We wanted to make sure to offer some merchandise they might not have expected from a Co-op.”

Gilliam points to the Powersports CF Moto all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides, Massey Ferguson farm equipment, and Exmark commercial-grade mowers as examples.

Along with food, vendor booths, and product displays, a petting zoo was among the many sights vying for customer attention at the September grand reopening.  Plenty of promotions, discounts, and door prizes were given away to further entice attendees.

“We wanted to show the community how we’ve reinvented the store and invite people to see the new brands and product lines we have brought in,” says Sydney Jones, Ag1 marketing manager. “We’re very versatile, especially here at our Cookeville store. We have clothing for women, men, and kids as well as home décor and a growing shoe department.”

Gilliam says he is optimistic attendees liked what they saw at the event and will appreciate the changes. 

“There is something here for everybody; you don’t have to be a farmer to find value,” says Gilliam. “Probably 50 percent of the store is now geared more toward home-owners, but we still have all the agricultural products and inputs our traditional customers expect. There’s just a lot more here for everyone.”

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