By Adam Smith, News Courier, Athens, Ala.

January 5, 2012 — Land is being cleared at a location off U.S. 31 in Tanner to make way for a new farm equipment business.

Real estate broker Tony McCormack confirmed that 15 acres of property was sold to Wayne Hunt, owner of Hopkinsville, Ky. based H&R Agri-Power for the new business. H&R Agri-Power is also purchasing Athens Farm & Turf and McCutcheon Tractor. The new store will essentially represent a relocation of McCutcheon, Hunt said, though it will operate under the H&R Agri-Power name.

Athens Farm & Turf will continue to operate at its location on U.S. 72, though its owner, Van Barksdale, will work as a parts and service manager at the new location.

H&R Agri-Power also recently purchased farm equipment businesses in Lawrenceburg and Fayetteville, Tenn. Hunt said that will give H&R Agri-Power nine stores in four states.

McCormack said the new business will be an asset to not only the region’s large-scale farmers, but also hobby farmers. “I’ve dealt with lots of companies over the years, but this company provides some of the best customer service of any I’ve ever been around,” he said. “It will be a centrally located facility and a big asset to the farming community.”

Many may remember the property as the former site of Hudson Antiques & Auction. The famed antebellum home that stands on the property was partially consumed by fire in 2008 after a lightning strike. McCormack said the property was owned by Jeffrey Hitt and Patsy Blaxton.

Once completed, the business will be about 27,000 square feet. Phase I, which will be 15,000 square feet, will likely open in February, McCormack said. He said though the business primarily sells Case International products, it will service a variety of farm equipment brands. H&R Implement Co. Inc. was founded in 1959 by Dalton Hancock in Hopkinsville, Ky., according to the company’s website. Agri-Power Inc. was founded in 1990 when Hunt took over the Case company store in Hopkinsville. In 1992, Agri-Power built and started a new dealership in Russellville, Ky. H&R Agri-Power was formed in 1993 by the merger of H&R Implement Co., Inc. and Agri-Power Inc. For more information on H&R Agri-Power, visit