Federation of Southern Cooperatives
Land Assistance Fund


Rural Training and Research Center
Located in Epes Alabama, the RTRC is the hub of the Federation's comprehensive outreach and training efforts. The Center hosts training workshops on cooperative development throughout the year. Housed at the center are the following programs: 

  • Credit union
  • Housing
  • Environmental justice
  • African American Men and Boys Collaborative
  • Cooperative Center

Small Farm and Sustainable Agriculture
The primary goal of the project is to help farmers develop successful family farm businesses through: 

  • Financial analysis of farms
  • Technical assistance in setting individual farm goals
  • Technical assistance in farm management
  • Assistance in debt restructuring
  • Alternative crop analysis
Land Assistance
The Land Assistance Fund  Program has a three point focus: 
  • Legal assistance
  • Education
    • Tax sales
    • Wills and estate planning
    • Adverse possession
    • Eminent domain and condemnation
    • Mineral rights
  • Financial assistance

Black Belt Legacy Forestry Program/ Community Based Forestry
Another important program in land use and its development for farmers and landowners is the Federationís Black Belt Legacy Forestry Program (BBLFP). The program focuses on: 

  • Providing training, and technical assistance to create a self-motivated community-based forestry (CBF).
  • Outreach on sustainable forestland management, land utilization alternatives and agroforestry.
  • Demonstrations projects
    • Agroforestry
    • Non-timber forest products
  • Organizing a meat goat co-op

Cooperative Marketing
The focus of our marketing program is: 

  • Production/marketing assessments
  • Cooperative development
  • Value added projects
  • Rural/urban marketing
  • Emerging market opportunities
Credit Unions
The focus of the credit union department is to provide technical assistance and training to individuals from low-income rural communities who have determined a need for low cost, community controlled consumer credit.  Technical assistance is offered in the following areas: 
  • Chartering
  • Computerizing
  • Non-member deposits
  • Business plans
  • Youth credit unions
  • Auditing
  • Board training
  • Committee training
The housing department focuses on three major areas: 
  • Multi-family housing development
  • Multi-family housing management, and

Technical assistance for single family housing

Cooperative Development Assistance

  • Job creation
  • Capital infusion
  • Training and human development
Membership Services
The focus of the Membership Services department includes: 
  • Building membership
  • Building self-sufficiency
  • Membership communications
The department of communications focuses on three major area: 
  • Disseminating information
  • Media outreach
  • Material development
Advocacy and Coalition Building
The Federation works in coalition with other organizations and advocates for: 
  • Rural community based economic development
  • Affordable rural housing 
  • Farmers rights
  • Fair trade policies
  • Cooperative and credit union development
  • Renewable energy strategies
  • International exchange and information
  • Environmental policy
  • Black land loss