Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell Announces $200,000 in Rural Development Funding for Sumter and Greene Counties
Washington, DC—Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) announced that the Alabama State Association of Rural Cooperatives was awarded $200,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for rural development projects in Sumter and Greene Counties. The Rural Development funds will be used to help disadvantaged farmers grow crops more efficiently, create jobs and provide safe and quality produce for families throughout the 7th Congressional District and the State of Alabama.
“It is great news that this funding has been awarded to help small producers in the 7th Congressional District,” said Rep. Sewell (D-AL). “Small farmers and producers play an important role in the local economies of Alabama’s rural communities. This funding gives Alabama’s economic development organizations resources to continue providing valuable assistance to create and sustain jobs throughout our state.”
“This grant will help family farmers in Greene and Sumter counties, but moving forward we hope to work beyond the black belt,” said John Zippert, Project Director. “The grant will help small farmers raise more vegetable crops, create local farmers markets, increase access to commercial markets and utilize new technologies like drift irrigation so that small farmers can increase their productivity and sustainability.”
Funds from the Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program are awarded competitively to cooperatives and/or associations of cooperatives. The Greene/Sumter Farmers Market Cooperative has approximately 65 small farmer-members, which is composed of more than 98 percent of socially-disadvantaged African American producers.