55 YEARS OF MOVEMENT BUILDING
COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT | LAND RETENTION | ADVOCACY
To be a catalyst for the development of self-supporting communities through cooperative economic development, land retention, and advocacy.
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 yet one more promise to Black farmers and ranchers. Unfortunately, as passed by the Senate, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) threatens to render this litigation moot thereby preventing us from ever knowing how the Court would interpret this critically necessary program.
Ultimately, if passed, the IRA will become heralded as an overwhelming victory in the fight for medical consumers and our environment. While these aspects of the law should be lauded, they unfortunately come with yet another broken promise to America's Black farmers.
August, 20, 2022
Family farmers and rural communities suffer disproportionately in times of disaster and economic hardship. Rural communities have less developed infrastructure, greater distances between people & services and fewer resources. These communities suffer more because the impact of disaster hurts twice as much because limited resources can't support the assistance needed and whatever support available takes twice as long to reach those in need.
Family farmers in rural communities are usually the ones positioned to assist urban communities and populations severely affected by disasters, such as COVID-19 and other economic hardships. The greatest needs in times of peril are food, water and shelter. Farmers and cooperatives are the first responders to meet these needs.
Farmers produce and distribute fresh fruits & vegetables through local cooperatives. Cooperative facilities serve as staging areas and storage for relief items sent from across the country. By working with community-based organizations such as cooperatives, farmers have the capacity to organize, coordinate and monitor these efforts via established partnerships. Additionally rural communities often serve as refuge for evacuees during various disasters.
To prosper as a country and respond effectively and equitably to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and economic turmoil, we have to industriously utilize and equip farmers as first responders. To achieve tour collective goal please see the following recommendations as solutions:
Better policies that focus on rural infrastructure and disaster pre such as a local farmer, cooperatives, and CBOS/regional systems should be identified, listed, and used as first responders in their respective communities.
Local and regional distribution systems should be developed and/or supported via local, state, and/or government funding.
Direct disaster payments to farmers and fishermen.
Cost-share programs to rebuild farm structures and infrastructure (i.e. barns, boats, docks, value-added facilities, equipment, materials, etc.)
Local disaster plans/models should be required for all counties/communities.
Greater CBO and minority-serving land grant university support to include disaster training as part of programs.