In this edition of Around the Federation, our monthly electronic newsletter, you will find recaps of our 55th Annual Meeting, accomplishments, programs, upcoming events, and more! 


Greetings Members and Partners,


August 31st marked the end of our fiscal year and I personally want to thank you for your role in making the Federation stronger.


We are excited about what we can do together as we continue to move cooperatively to build sustainable rural communities supported by a network of family farmers, landowners, and cooperatives.


The road over the past year has been filled with setbacks and systemic inequities. Thus, it is imperative that we continue our mission to be a catalyst for the development of self- supporting communities via cooperative economic development, land retention, and advocacy.

We must continue to have a collective strategy towards achieving equity and centered around cooperative advocacy. Our work is more important now than ever in a world of injustices, inequities, and an ever-changing climate. We are best positioned to build cooperatively owned businesses, stem the tide of Black land loss, and advocate for Farmers as First Responders™ and be the solution to the challenges of our own communities, the nation, and the world.


After 55 years of unified struggle and progress, our collective call to action continues to be for our member-owners to hold steadfast and do the necessary work to anchor our communities. The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land assistance fund is focused on the path forward as we "Build and Advocate Cooperatively."


In Cooperation,


Shift from ARP to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

On behalf of its membership of Black farmers, the Federation intervened as a party in the debt relief litigation, asking the Court to reinstate the implementation of Section 1005 to help the government keep its promise of Debt Relief to Black farmers and ranchers. Unfortunately, as passed by the Senate, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) renders this litigation moot thereby preventing us from ever knowing how the Court would interpret this critically necessary program focused on equity.

Heirs Property Relending Program Technical Assistance USDA Partnership

Last month, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund announced a multi-year, cooperative agreement with USDA to provide outreach and technical assistance on the Heirs Property Relending Program (HPRP) nationwide.


USDA Deputy Secretary, Dr. Jewell Bronaugh, announced the Federation in partnership with Shared Capital Cooperative, as a re-lender under the Heir Property Relending Program. The Federation is a member-owner of Shared Capital Cooperative.


For more information on the outreach and technical assistance please contact

State of African Americans in the Black Belt (SAABB)

The State of African Americans in the Black Belt (SAABB), a yearly report founded by Tuskegee University and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, is a project of the Carver Integrative Sustainability Center (CISC) and is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.


SAABB is designed to address policy issues and economic development specific to the Black Belt Region while at the same time having national impact.


Black Belt in the American South refers to the  social history, especially concerning slavery and black workers, of the geological region known as the Black Belt. The geology emphasizes the highly fertile black soil. Historically, the black belt economy was based on cotton plantations.

SAABB Fall Brief




We celebrated our 55th Annual Meeting with a 3-day celebration of our work, memories, and progress in the development of the Federation as the foremost organization owned by and serving Black farmers, co-op members, and low-income people in rural and urban communities across the South. 

See below for day-by-day highlights of the events and activities that started in Birmingham and ended in Epes, Alabama at our historic Rural Training & Research Center.


Cooperative Advocacy:

A collective strategy towards achieving equity.

Thursday, August 18th Estelle Witherspoon Awards

Click for Thursday Recap

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund proudly honored civil rights icon Dr. Bernard Lafayette as our 21st Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient. Over 300 members, sponsors, and guests attended.

Watch as Devin Fuhrman, Chief Agriculture and Sponsor Relations Officer at Nationwide Insurance greets the attendees during the banquet.

Thank you Nationwide for being a valued partner & sponsor of the Federation!

Carol Zippert serving as Mistress of Order.

Friday, August 19th USDA Leadership Panels, Workshops, & More

Click for Friday Recap

On Friday, August 19th, over 275 people participated in the programs and activities in person at the Federation's historic Rural Training & Research Center in Epes, Alabama.

USDA Leadership Resource Panel Contact Information

If you would like to follow-up on the information shared during the USDA Leadership Panel, please see the provided contact information below:

Marketing and Regulatory Programs and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: Katie Zenk, Chief of Staff, Marketing and Regulatory Programs:

Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE): Dr. Lisa Ramirez, Director, OPPE,

Forest Service: Andrea Delgado, Chief of Staff, Natural Resources and

Rural Development: Steffanie Bezruki, Acting Chief of Staff, RD,

Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service: Tim Gannon, Chief of Staff, Farm Production and Conservation,

National Institute of Food and Agriculture: Sharon Drumm, Acting Senior Advisor, Research Education and Economics,

Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business: Jackie Davis-Slay, Senior Advisor, Departmental Administration:

Saturday, August 20th Membership Meeting

Click for Saturday Recap

Saturday was all about membership!

We began with a Prayer Breakfast honoring past Board Member, Mrs. Mattie Mack from Kentucky followed by a Business Meeting including reports from the Board of Directors, Executive Director; and a meeting of our state caucuses of cooperatives.

We look forward to seeing you at the 56th Annual Meeting August 17-19, 2023.




FSC/LAF vis its regional marketing system is looking to purchase various varieties of top grade seasonal produce for late October – November shipment to Northeastern markets. 

Products must be packaged and palletized for a 2-day ship in a refrigerated truck. 

Please contact Chawnn Redden, FSC/LAF Regional Marketing Coordinator or your State Coordinator if you are interested in growing for this opportunity. 



The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is a 55-year-old cooperative association of black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives.

Our mission is to be a catalyst for the development of self-supporting communities through cooperative economic development, land retention, and advocacy. We envision sustainable rural communities supported by a network of farmers, landowners, and cooperatives based on local control and ownership. 

FSC/LAF supports limited resource farmers, landowners, and cooperatives across the Southern region with business planning, debt restructuring, marketing expertise, and a whole range of other services to ensure the retention of black-owned land and cooperatives as a tool for social and economic justice.

Please direct any questions to

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