March 15, 2017
Contact: Eboni Thomas
Rainge Tapped to Lead 'Land Retention and Advocacy' for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund
EAST POINT, GA -
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund is pleased to announce that Monica A. Rainge, an agricultural lawyer, has been tapped to serve as the Director of Land Retention and Advocacy.
Rainge has worked in the public and private agricultural sectors for more than 20 years.
Experienced in agricultural policy development and program management, she previously
served as the Florida State Coordinator for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund. She has managed regional USDA projects focusing on outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
The Federation's overall mission is to be a catalyst for the development of self-supporting communities through cooperative development, land retention and other initiatives that increase income and build wealth. For the last 50 years, as part of this mission, the organization's focus has been to reverse the trend of African-American land loss and to encourage land based economic development.
"As we prepare to commemorate our 50th anniversary, it is important that we step back to celebrate our history, accomplishments and challenges; however, it is even more crucial that we build on that rich history and foundation to set a path for the next 50 years. We are excited about our transition and Monica's new role as Director of Land Retention & Advocacy, because it supports our renewed focus around cooperative economic development, land retention and advocacy. Furthermore, Monica will be integral in how we support our membership specifically and small farmers, landowners and rural communities in general." said Cornelius Blanding, Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund.
As the Director of Land Retention and Advocacy, Rainge leads the development and management of high quality outreach and technical assistance programs that support regional land retention and advocacy initiatives. She also directs the Federation's Regional Heirs Property Center.
"Black land loss is one of the greatest silent tragedies of our time. Land loss represents loss of economic opportunities for stabilizing rural, low income communities. The Federation's focus on assisting rural landowners and helping them to access public and private programs that will maximize land uses and values is important work and I am honored to lead this part of our misssion," stated Rainge.
Rainge grew up in the southern pines of Thomasville, Georgia. Her experiences as a Master 4-H'er of Georgia, fueled her ambition to work in the field of agriculture. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1995 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida in 1998. She earned a Master of Laws in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law's Graduate Program in Agricultural Law in 1999.
Rainge's professional experience with the Federation dates back to 1996 when she served as a college intern under the Natural Resource Conservation Service Internship Program started by USDA's Pearlie Reed to increase minority participation in natural resource careers.
Rainge currently serves as a board member for the Farmers Legal Action Group (FLAG); Chair of the FAMU Brooksville Agricultural and Environmental Research Station Advisory Committee; and as a member of the
Advisory Committee for the Institute For Women's Policy Research, Status of Women in the U.S. South Research Consortium.
She frequently advocates and lectures nationally on food security issues and the preservation of agricultural land rights in the South.