Rural Training & Research Center, Epes, AL

A Legacy Rooted in Cooperative Development, Land Retention, and Advocacy


There are four major themes of the Federation's mission, work, and accomplishments over the past five decades. Our performance in these areas is key to evaluating our success and strength over this sustained period. The central themes of our mission are:


To develop cooperatives and credit unions as a means for people to enhance the quality of their lives and improve their communities;


To save, protect and expand the landholdings of Black family farmers in the South;


To develop a unique and effective Rural Training and Research Center to provide information, skills, and awareness, in a cultural context, to help our members and constituents to build strong rural communities;


To develop, advocate and support public policies to benefit our membership of Black and other family farmers; and the low-income rural communities where they live.

The Federation is a non-profit cooperative association of black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives.  We are not able to do this work without multiple sources of support. Our funding sources include state and federal agencies, foundations, churches, cooperatives, corporations, individual donors and our membership. Donating to our cause is an investment in our work to support limited resources farmers, landowners and cooperatives. 

Read about the 5 Million Dollar Capital Campaign

Join the Movement of over 20,000 Members to support farmers, landowners, and cooperatives. Benefits of being a member:
  • Networking opportunities at meetings, conferences, workshops, and training

  • Discounts for workshops and training

  • Print and electronic newsletters on topics of interest

  • Technical assistance on a variety of topics ranging from estate planning, cooperative development, farm and forest management plans

  • Corporate discount benefits offered to members

We serve member-owners with various land ownership challenges.  Are you a farmer, landowner or a member of a cooperative?  Our regional centers may be able to help you.  Our centers:

  • Regional Heirs Property & Mediation Center

  • Regional Cooperative Development Center

  • Regional African-American Agroforestry Center 

  • Regional Marketing System

NASS Census Info.png
Cornelius Blanding, Executive Director is a 2019 Leadership Award Winner
James Beard Foundation
Black Producers Data Updates Visit

Click here for video of the Federation's Urban Agriculture work in Birmingham, Alabama

"Healthy Food Options in the City"

John & Carol Zippert honored with induction
into "Co-op Hall of Fame"

Federation/LAF Signs MOU with 
USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Establishes Regional Heirs Property and Mediation Center

Black Farmers Org Still Stands 
50 Years Later

Government/University Agriculture Links

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)
USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS)
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
USDA Foreign Agriculture Service
USDA Risk Management Agency
USDA Rural Development Agency
USDA U.S. Forest Service
Southern Region Risk Management Education Center
Digital Center for Risk Management Education 
Alabama Forestry Commission