In 1921, produce growers in Jefferson County saw the need for a place to market their produce. Eighteen members met and formed the Jefferson County Truck Growers Association and chartered it with the State. By-laws were written and set up as a non-profit Corporation, and the organization remains so.
The market since that time has had six locations. It has been at its present location since 1956. The market is situated on 49 acres of land. The Alabama Farmers Market has warehouse space of 61 bays, each about 25 X 50 feet. These bays are rented to 14 dealers, selling all types of produce. We have 11 open sheds 30 X 200 feet, six of these sheds are reserved for Alabama Farmers only, two sheds are for retail produce dealers, and three sheds are for wholesale produce dealers.
The membership is now at 207 growers. In order to become a member of the Association, one must be a produce grower in the State of Alabama. The Alabama Farmers Market has members from as far north as Limestone County, to as far south as Geneva County.
The Alabama Farmers Market has nine members of the Board of Directors. All are produce growers, elected from the membership to three-year term. They will elect a President, Vice-President, and the Treasurer. They employ a Secretary-Manager for daily operation of the business. The Association has 20 employees, two maintain operation of the office, eight are security personnel, one on the yard and one at the gate at all times, six are clean up, two maintenance and one supervisor of the Flea Market.
The Alabama Farmers Market has its own compactor for disposal of garbage, and bailer for the disposal of cardboard. The total of employees of the Association and dealers are approximately 200 with an annual payroll of 2 million dollars.
The amount of produce sold on the Alabama Farmers Market is in excess of 350 million dollars, approximately 50 million in the state alone. Anyone growing produce is welcome to use this Market. The Alabama Farmers Market has between 2,000 and 2,500 farmers--large and small--who use this Market annually.
The Market is solely owned and operated by the Alabama farmers. It is fully self-supporting, receiving no outside funds.