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Final Chapter

Trimble County Farm Supply closes
after 50 years in business

Herefords say area farmers will miss their services

(May 2015) – After 50 years in business, the Trimble County Farm Supply Store in Milton, Ky., closed in March and owners George and Larry Hereford sold everything – except for the property – at an April 18 auction – the machinery, vehicles, fertilizer buggies and inventory. Dunlap, Smith & Lynch Auctions conducted the auction, which saw everything go except for the property itself. The minimum bid was not received to sell the property.
According to auctioneer, Andy Lynch, the event was well attended with approximately 75 people bidding on equipment and vehicles. “The fertilizer buggies were the most popular items,” says Lynch. Since the real estate did not sell, the future for this much needed establishment remains in limbo.

Photo by Kim Ruble

From left, George and Larry Hereford pose inside the Trimble County Farm
Supply Store.

First opened as Southern States Co-op, the store was purchased at auction 33 years ago by George Hereford and B.G. Wingham. Four years later, Hereford bought out Wingham’s share of the business, and George’s son, Larry, stepped in and took over helping to run the store.
Larry said the store has always been a basic farm supply store. “Our customers could always find feed and seed, and fertilizer and chemicals – the simple things that farmers need.”
He said that with the store now closed, farmers in the area have to travel all the way to the Kentucky towns of La Grange or Eminence, or even into Indiana to purchase fertilizer. “The only way that could begin to happen again would be if the new owner re-opens it as a farm supply store.”
George said Trimble County farmers are not overly optimistic, “but many still hope to see the farm supply store open up again.”
Larry said there have been a lot of changes to the business in a span of three decades, and not all of them good. “We’ve seen many farmers pass away in that time period.” He also talked about how the economy has not been good at the present time in the county.

Photo by Don Ward

The Trimble County Farm Supply store was an asset to local farmers.

“Tobacco is the main crop in Trimble County, and that isn’t doing really good, either. What farmers who are left, things just aren’t looking too good for them all the way around.”
When asked why they decided to sell their store at auction, both men laughed at the same time. Then Larry cited their respective ages. “We’re both just getting too old to do it any longer. That’s what it boils down to.”
George said his mind was getting too old, too. However, it would appear that the economy might not have played a part in deciding to auction off the store because George quickly added, “In 2014, the store brought in over $1 million in profits.”
Larry said he had no idea if the store would remain a farm supply store or if the new owners plan on making it into something totally different. Regardless of what the new owners do, both men wanted it to be known that in the 33 years that they were in business, the best part of running their farm supply store was their customers. 
George spoke about how the store had really good customers. Larry attributed the store’s success to its customers.
George said he plans to continue farming. He laughed, saying he would have plenty to do even without the store.

• Writer Jenny Straub Youngblood contributed to this report.

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