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  • Writer's pictureMarandy Farms


Tate Farms is well known in North Alabama as a pumpkin farm, however pumpkins have only been a part of the farm for the last twenty out of sixty eight years of farming for Homer Tate and his family.


The Tate family has a rich agricultural heritage dating back to 1810 in southwest Virginia. The Tate family first came to Madison County in 1867 from Warren County, Tennessee. William (Will) Tate began share cropping on the current farm location in the early 1900's.  His son, Carl, farmed there after his father became ill ,and in 1948 his brother, Homer, took over the responsibility of farming the land.  Homer raised his four sons, Mike, Steve, Mark and Jeff on the farm and each of the sons purchased additional land and farmed into adulthood.  A cousin, Pat Brown, joined the partnership for long span of time.  Today Tate Farms is a joint venture partnership of Mike, Steve and Jeff Tate, and Steve's son-in-law Stewart McGill. Each of the four partners brings expertise to a special area of managing and running the farm.  Jeff's wife, Michele is a managing partner in the farm's pumpkin operation.  Many of the partner's children are involved with the pumpkin business as well.

The site of the farmstead was once a thriving trading area for local sharecroppers, as they took advantage of the general store, a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, a saw mill, seed cleaning and other related services offered by John Patterson, grandfather of Homer Tate. Patterson built the farm house in 1907. In the 1930's, the house became the home of Will and Carrie Tate, parents of Homer, until 1994.  The house is still occupied by the family.


The farm, located in the red clay soils of the Tennessee Valley, consists of 6,000 acres of family owned and leased land. While the farm produces several different crops, including corn, wheat, soybeans and pumpkins, the principal crop has always been cotton.  The family also manages around a 50 head of beef cows.  Homer began farming with around 50 acres that he plowed with a mule.  Today, this huge amount of acreage is managed with 200 horse power tractors pulling modern equipment.  Homer and his workers picked cotton by hand back in 1948 and carried the cotton on their backs in a tow sack.  Today, the cotton is harvested with a cotton picker that picks 6 rows at a time, doing the work of 100 men.

In 1996, with 15 acres of pumpkins, Tate Farms Cotton Pickin’ Pumpkins, a fall farm agritainment business was introduced. The name was chosen carefully to reflect the family agricultural heritage.  Plans were made to attract school children to acquaint them with the rural lifestyle and promote agriculture.  The Tate family wanted children to see for themselves how the food they eat is grown and how the cotton they wear as clothes begins on a plant.


The Tate Farms experience provides exposure to a unique working farm, where memories are planted as well as crops.


8414a Moores Mill Rd. | Meridianville, AL 35759 | (256) 828-8288

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