Terry Ford grew up on a farm in the small town of Curve, Tennessee. He began his career in journalism with the Lauderdale County Enterprise, the Tennessee newspaper he now owns. After serving in the Navy, Ford began travelling to Europe to pursue his interest in food.
Prior to signing on as a founder of Southern Foodways Alliance, Ford helped found the American Southern Food Institute, an SFA predecessor, and served as a charter member of both the James Beard Foundation and the American Institute of Wine and Food. The proud owner and curator of a 20,000-volume collection of food books, he lives in Curve, Tennessee.