University of Wisconsin–Madison

Agricultural Cooperatives: Opportunities and Challenges For African American Women In The South

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2018
Level Other Boards and Agencies
State(s) All States
Policy Areas Civil Rights, Economic Justice, Food
Agricultural cooperatives are a promising area of economic opportunity for African American women in the rural South, who face some of the sharpest disparities in economic advancement. By increasing the local availability of quality food, these businesses also have the potential to improve health indicators in a region marked by disproportionately high rates of obesity, diabetes, and other related problems. Yet prevailing economic development models in these states are heavily skewed toward subsidizing large companies that offer few benefits for rural African American women. This report analyzes challenges that African American women face in the South as well as the shortcomings of current economic development models that contribute to such challenges. In addition to this, the report analyzes agricultural co-ops, looking at a case study involving an African American farm co-op in Mississippi. Lastly, this report offers policy recommendations on how to support co-ops throughout the rural South.

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