The Federation strives toward the development of self-supporting communities through cooperative economic development, land retention, advocacy and other initiatives that increase income and enhance other opportunities for limited resource farmers and landowners. The Federation is a nonprofit, cooperative association involving over 20,000 low-income, rural families organized into more than 75 cooperatives, credit unions and community-based economic development groups across the rural South. The Federation is chartered to work in 16 states, including some of the most economically depressed communities in the Black Belt Region. We have board representation from eight southern states with offices and staff in six deep southern states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida. This grant provides general operating support.