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Culpeper Farmers' Co-op marks 80 years of service
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Times have changed, of course, and today large farms predominate. As in its early years, however, the co-op still caters to both the farmer with 500 acres and the person who raises a few chickens or keeps a couple of pleasure horses on a two-acre lot.
CFC spreads lime and prescription-blend fertilizer on fields in the spring, and last fall bought 770,000 bushels of locally grown corn.
For years the co-op also sold appliances, but found it could not compete with the big chains, such as Lowe's, that moved into the area in the past two decades.
In recent years, the co-op has also offered space for about 35 community gardens on its grounds, and a farmers market is held in its parking lot on Wednesday mornings during the summer.
Durr says CFC's delivery service also attracts customers.
CFC plans to celebrate its 80th anniversary as part of Culpeper's Farm Tour this weekend.
Horsemanship demonstrations, locally made ice cream and feed-mill tours will all be part of the festivities.
"And of course we'll have birthday cake," Durr says.
As with any business, there have been good and bad times for the Culpeper Farmers' Cooperative over the past eight decades. It has survived a Depression, several recessions and a 1959 fire that destroyed its downtown location on Wausau Place.
But the company has been resilient and has shrugged off the hard times and adapted its services to the changing face of agriculture.
And, at 80, it remains as energetic and spry as ever.
Durr, the co-op's 16-member board of directors and all the farmers who own shares in the company hope that energy continues for another 80 years.
WHAT: Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour WHEN: This weekend, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days WHERE: Tour begins at Welcome Center at Culpeper Agricultural Enterprises off U.S. 29 INFO: culpeperfarmtour.com