We will help you wherever you are.  

If you are in the great state of Alabama, we are already working to bring our system to your area!  (Send us an email and tell us where you are located!  The more interest in an area there is, the sooner we can come to you!)

For those outside Alabama, we are still here to help!  If we can create a co-op in your area, or just provide consultation for you to build your own, we are happy to help!  We want to see this idea grow everywhere!

What do we actually do?
We do the work, so that the farmer does not have to, by taking orders and payments.
Then we pass those orders and payments on to the farmer.
And, finally, we deliver the customers' orders when they cannot pick up for themselves.
That's it.  Well, that (above) and we sit back and watch the farmer's farm grow.

How Alabama Co-op Came to Be:  the Long Version

I will never forget the first day I met them.  A young farmer and his young wife had recently moved to Alabama to begin a new family farm location.  He held her hand as he spoke passionately about why they farm, how they farm, and about their personal faith and convictions.  We had a lot in common, and it was a fast friendship.

The farmer's wife, Tina, and I chatted about the possibility of me organizing a system to take orders from others in the Birmingham area, and then to pick up their products when I picked up my own every other week.  As a homeschool mom of a (then) 10, 9, and 7 year old, I was all for it!  It would get us out of the house every other week, and we'd get to learn about where food really comes from by getting more of ours straight from a farm!  We took our first order in April of 2017, and those early days were so fruitful, even when I wasn't really making much compensation. 

But the co-op order grew....and grew....and grew!  I remember when we'd hit milestones in sales totals--Tina and I celebrated!  Not only did we have the best customers on the planet, but I just loved seeing this farm grow their production.  I knew that by building a solid system, I was helping both the farm and the customers get what they needed, and it was so much fun to do!  (Even in lightning storms on delivery day!)

We went to the farm every other week for the first five years, and at some point, I had to stop taking all three of my kids with me due to needing the space for more coolers filled with product.  Then, when we regularly had to take TWO vehicles to load up the large orders, we decided to start going weekly to allow for even more growth.  It wasn't long before we needed two vehicles every week!  

It was so much fun to advertise the co-op, tell them about the farmer and his family, about their practices, and to share their products with new customers!  I'm no salesperson, but I loved telling about all the good things they did on their farm, and even hosting customer appreciation days so that I could get their customers there to meet them!  

Tina and I talked or messaged almost daily, and over all the years we worked together, we not only refined a great system as it grew, but our friendship was like none I'd ever had before.  She was firmly planted in her faith, committed to her husband and family, worked hard as a farmer's wife (and homeschool mom of four little ones), and was one of those I call my "smart friends".  She could keep track of details and create complex spreadsheets for the co-op in her sleep--though, she preferred the help of Post-It Notes!  And in the midst of all that co-op talk, she spoke of faith, eternity, and the foundation that had been so deeply laid within her.  

I'll never forget her.

As our co-op order was growing, sadly so was the cancer that had made its home in Tina's body.  In the fall of 2021, she found out about the cancer, and, in early December of the same year, she passed away.  Watching her keep her faith until her last breath inspires me.  She actually sounded excited when she said to me, "I'm going to get my crown!"  I have only been able to describe what I witnessed in her this way:

"It was as if, from where she laid in bed, she had a glimpse of open pearly gates that awaited her, and she seemed, at times, in a full sprint to get to them.  Because her Reward was there, awaiting her, and calling her to Him. We know she is there, with Him, now."
I know I don't have to tell you about Tina here, but I do want you to know that these efforts are absolutely inspired by her!  
In fact, for the last year that we've been talking about the possibility of creating a new co-op, I wanted to name it "Tina".  
That didn't seem to stick, but we will always tell you that Alabama Farm Co-op is brought to you by Horton Logistics, LLC, 
and is inspired by T.I.N.A., which is an acrostic for:

Transportation (and) 
Needed (in) 

Tina may not be here to work with me anymore, but she continues to inspire in so many ways!  She always wanted to see other farms succeed!  And that is also why we knew we needed to create a new co-op--so that we could help more of them grow by connecting them all to as many customers as possible!

My time with the original farm co-op has come to an end, and now there's time to start again!  
I'm excited to see this one grow!  Will you be part of it?  I hope so!

--Melissa Horton

About our Founder:

Melissa Horton is a wife, homeschooling mom of three teens, and homemaker. She was a voice major for a time in college, has a background in teaching and childcare, and now leads a great team at Alabama Homeschool Alliance.  She has raised pigs on their small homestead in St. Clair County, Alabama, and looks forward to doing it again!  

Melissa is a self-proclaimed "wannabe minimalist" and her hobbies are mostly studying the Bible and singing (in the choir at church, in the car, in the shower, and in the kitchen while she cooks).  And, finally, she is writing a book!

We know you may be asking, "How does she have time for all that?"  Well...she doesn't!  Which is why all of those things have their place and time, and do not all happen at once!

She is always full of ideas, loves to fill gaps when she sees a need, and always says she needs a team of "get-it-done-ers" to accomplish all the ideas in her head!

Melissa loves building a system and serving others through the farm co-op, and she enjoys the challenge of remembering others' names when she sees them!

 Around the Birmingham area, Melissa is known as "the milklady" for her farm co-op efforts the past 6.5 years.  She looks forward to meeting you soon!
We are Alabama Farm Co-op and we are here to serve you! 

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