Coker Farms

Learn about Coker Experimental Farms, the first company to use scientific plant breeding methods commercially.

Coker Farms is a National Historic Landmark and achieved this designation as the first agricultural company to use scientific plant breeding methods and protocols to develop improved varieties of crop seeds for the American farmer. Self-guided interpretive exhibits are open from 9 am – 6 pm daily.

Coker Experimental Farms, founded by David R. Coker in 1914, featured the first cotton-breeding program in the the United States. Here, Coker further developed the experiments of his father, Sonoco Corporation founder Maj. James Lide Coker, who introduced improved and scientifically informed production methods of cotton, tobacco, corn and pulpwood to the region.

The National Historic Landmark on South Fourth Street, featuring active fields and exhibits housed in a replica dairy barn, explains how the Coke Pedigreed Seed Company made a massive impact in Southern agriculture, improving the yield of existing crops and helping establish new ones such as soybeans.