Federation holds 49th Annual Meeting

FederationThe Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund held its 49th Annual Meeting this past weekend.
On Thursday evening in Birmingham, the Federation held its 15th Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner. Three Mississippi civil rights veterans – Bob Moses, Dave Dennis and Hollis Watkins Muhammad – received the award name for a founder of the Federation, who served as General Manager of the Freedom Quilting Bee in Wilcox County, Alabama.
Pictured at right, Dave Dennis and Hollis Watkins Muhammad receive award from Cornelius Blanding, Executive Director of the Federation. Bob Moses was unable to attend since he is recovering from hip surgery. More than three hundred supporters attended the dinner.
The meeting continued at the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama on Friday and Saturday.
More than 400 attended Friday’s panel and workshop discussions on USDA programs to benefit family farmers. Workshops on aquaponics, land retention and heir property, forestry, cooperative development, marketing and credit union development were held in the afternoon.
A highlight of Friday’s program was the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Federation and three USDA agencies – U. S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the National Agroforestry Center which provides a framework for future work to benefit African-American farmers in the southern region in conjunction with the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center in Epes.
On Saturday, the Federation held a Prayer Breakfast, annual business meeting featuring reports from its Board of Directors and Executive Director, state caucuses of members and other business.

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