Under the direction of Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Director Harcourt Morgan, the focus turned to research and development of fertilizers and through pilot work, the Muscle Shoals facility became the nation’s most complete fertilizer research and development center. Demonstration farms and projects and partnerships with land grant colleges and extension services provided testing of products and technology. By 1962, the program was generally acknowledged to be the national leader in research and manufacturing methods through the programs of the National Fertilizer Development Center.
President John F. Kennedy visits the Muscle Shoals region on May 18, 1963 and spoke to a large crowd about the work of the TVA.
The TVA National Fertilizer Development Center (NFDC) continued to be a leader in fertilizer research into the last half of other 20th Century. In 1974 the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) was established as a Public International Organization by presidential decree. NFDC’s research however was terminated in the last decade of the 20th Century. Research at IFDC continues with statistics from 2016 showing that the economic impact of IFDC on the Muscle Shoals economy is estimated to be $21.5 million and that 70% of the world’s fertilizers were developed in Muscle Shoals. Dr. Scott Angle is the director of the International Fertilizer Development Center.
Alabama state programs – William H. (Mutt) Gregory was born April 16, 1906, in Florence, Alabama. He studied agriculture at Auburn University, and received his B.S. Degree in 1928. His long career included 31 years with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, two years in a foreign assignment in Africa, and 16 years with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. As Extension specialist in animal husbandry during 1940-59, he was the primary mover in organizing the Alabama Cattleman’s Association, helped organize a state sheep association, and established statewide marketing system for lambs and wool.
National – Howell T. Heflin grew up in northwest Alabama. In addition to a distinguished career as an attorney, Heflin embarked on a second career as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, to be followed by 16 years as a U.S. Senator. During his years in the U.S. Senate, Heflin developed a strong reputation for his support of agriculture for his many years of service to Alabama agriculture. Senator Heflin was presented Distinguished Service Awards by the American Soybean Producers Association, National Peanut Producers Association, and the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association. He is a past winner of the American Farm Bureau Golden Plow Award, the Alabama Farmers Federation Eminent Service Award, and was named 1993 Man of the Year in Agriculture by The Progressive Farmer magazine.