In 1929, Jim Cleverdon, a recent graduate of the school of engineering at Tulane University, started farming on some land west of Summerdale, Alabama.  His dad had previously kept cows on the property, but at a time when the country was in its worse depression, the Cleverdons decided to grow an essential crop like Irish potatoes.   




About 1938, Paul Cleverdon, Jim’s youngest brother, a graduate of chemical engineering, who had been working for Scott Paper Mill in Mobile, joined him in the enterprise that they named Cleverdon Brothers.  They built a potato shed along the railroad track in Summerdale and bought and shipped local produce that included cucumbers and potatoes. Many local people were employed over the years to grade, bag, and ship those products. The whole Cleverdon family was involved in this enterprise as well!  

Jim Cleverdon died in 1946, and Paul ran the farm by himself and added Capital Chemical Company to the business as well as selling Lockwood Potato Machinery to all the other potato farmers in the area. Now the farm produced corn, soybeans and wheat as well as potatoes in season.   In the early 1960’s Paul persuaded his son, William, “Bill”, to join him at the farm.  Bill increased the farm by purchasing the Hershey Guthrie farm in Bon Secour in 1970.  Now the farm stretched from Summerdale to Bon Secour, Alabama.




 SUMMERDALE, ALABAMA                                                 SPRING 1963

Like his father, Bill had attended the University of Alabama where he majored in biology.  Bill Cleverdon was one of the very first farmers to add irrigation to the farm, and also put the farm on computer to generate reports on the output of the land, the machinery, and the fuel. He also traveled around the country to see innovations other farmers had made to growing different crops, particularly potatoes.  This was a main activity of family vacations. Today, the farm is under the leadership of Bill’s sons, William Jr. (Tommy), and Dana G. Cleverdon, and they are a family-owned turf farm and seed producer.  Cleverdon Farms, as it is known today, places great focus on producing a superior product.  The farmers and management team are in the fields daily checking the quality of the turf to ensure the best possible product.

We are also committed to our community, supporting the schools, local youth teams, charity runs, YMCA, and Rotary Club as well as our individual churches.  Bill Cleverdon is still on the Baldwin County Soil and Water Board where he has served for 25 years, and the farm strives to use good farming practices to prevent erosion, avoid waste, keep silt and nitrate runoff out of the rivers.  This is our home, and our customers are our neighbors, so we go above and beyond to be good stewards of the land.  We love Baldwin County and want to give back some of what it has given us.