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To be a catalyst for the development of self-supporting communities through cooperative economic development, land retention, and advocacy.

The Federation salutes member land owner Pamela Hodge - who has land in Guadalupe County of Kingsbury, Texas, and Hardin County of Kountze, Texas.

Pam owns a total of approximately 600 acres between her two properties. She produces timber on the Hardin County property and beef cattle on the Guadalupe County property.

The family is proud to have restored (through purchase and inheritance) much of the land once owned and farmed by their ancestors. In 2013 her family put this land into a trust and she took full control of the land as the designated trustee. She painstakingly transformed it from an untamed wilderness to pasture land and began ranching in 2018.

The land in Hardin County was purchased by her great-great-grandfather (a freed slave). Pam received a judgment in December 2022 for full control of the Hardin County property. She plans to restore its heritage of timber production.

Pam has been a member of the Federation for 2 years.

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During this time, the Federation is also offering temporary housing at our RTRC Center in Epes, Alabama to families impacted by the tornado in Eutaw and Selma. Please contact for more details.


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 local farmers, 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. 

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