WELCOME TO THE RURAL TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER
Photo of 2 of the fishing ponds on the property-Donna DeCaille
The RTRC also oversees the Wendy Hill Subdivision in Gainesville, Alabama, a 38-unit apartment complex serving very low-income families.
The RTRC is the hub of operations for the Federation and also the base of operations for the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives (ASAC) outreach and technical assistance staff.RTRC, staff works on projects with USDA – Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service(APHIS), USDA – Rural Development, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, and Democratizing Rural Electric Cooperatives Campaign.
Each program and partner contribute significantly to the success of the RTRC. The RTRC also serves as a meeting place for Federation activities and member groups in the area such as the AlabamaState Association of Cooperatives, Southeast GoatProducers Coop (SoGoCo), and our youth forestry camp.
Rural Training & Research Center
575 Federation Rd.
Gainesville, AL 35464
Send Mail: PO Box 95, Epes, AL 35460
Ph (205) 652-9676
Fax: (205) 652-9678
The collective membership of the Federation owns the Rural Training and Research Center (RTRC), located between the towns of Epes and Gainesville in Sumter County, Alabama. Together with the Panola Land Buying Association, we own more than 1,300 acres of farm and forested land, which forms the land base of the RTRC.
Local Administrative office
A dormitory that holds 70 overnight guests
A large multi-purpose building for large pieces of training
Agricultural research and demonstration sites
Silvo-pasture goat herd
One nature trail
Two fishing ponds
US Sen. Doug Jones with Dr. Marcus Bernard at National Coop Month Symposium
RTRC Director, Marcus Bernard Phd.."Doc B"
In partnership with the Fund for Democratic Communities, Democracy at Work Institute, the Climate Justice Alliance and other supporting organizations we hosted CoopEcon
2018 Institute at the RTRC. CoopEcon 2019 is the 6th gathering since 2011 as part of the effort to build networks across the US South to promote and launch sustainable cooperative economies.
RTRC Program Highlights
Pamela Madzima, State Coordinator of Alabama
Based at the Rural Training and Research Center, Pamela Madzima has worked with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/LAF for 15 years providing technical assistance and support to member-cooperatives of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives.
Madzima’s primary responsibilities have included directing and coordinating outreach, and technical assistance programs to member cooperatives, and to small, limited resource landowners that are interested in forming agricultural/marketing cooperatives; and assisting cooperatives with: organizing and becoming incorporated; developing by-laws that are consistent with cooperative principles; exploring marketing outlets for value-added products; resource development; and facilitating education and training plans to assist cooperative leaders and members to function as a cooperative.
She has served on various committees and community development projects and has served as the director of the Federation/LAF’s Rural Development Americorps VISTA program, which placed 15 volunteers with local cooperatives. She’s currently a member of the Board of Directors and Loan Committees of Shared Capital Cooperative and the Southern Reparations Loan Fund.
Madzima has a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master's of Science Degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics. She is originally from Zimbabwe, Southern Africa.