The Federation of Southern Cooperatives (the Federation) strives to increase income and ensure land retention and development for family farmers, especially African American farmers. The organization fosters sustainable communities through the development of cooperatives and credit unions. Their work has a local and national scope, always keeping an eye toward beneficial programs for limited resource farmers and landowners.
For the past thirty years, the Federation and Farm Aid have worked together to bolster Black farmers and all farmers. Major milestones have included the United Farmer and Rancher Congress in 1987, farmer-to-farmer haylifts in the face of natural disasters, relief and recovery efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and a landmark settlement of the Pigford v. Glickman discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Federation continues to work tirelessly for the rights of Black landowners. Their extended membership includes 12,000 Black farm families who collectively own half a million acres of land and work through 35 agricultural cooperatives to purchase supplies, provide technical assistance and market their crops.
The Federation appreciates that Farm Aid grants can be slated for general support: “these unrestricted dollars are rare for our organization and others in the movement. These resources allow us to do the REAL work of the organization…such as advocating on behalf of minority farmers, limited resource cooperatives and rural communities.”