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NRCS Participates in Federation of Southern Cooperatives 46th Annual Meeting

By: Alice Love, NRCS Agricultural Outreach Liaison, Auburn, AL

Puckett Speaks at Federation Meeting

Dr. William Puckett, Alabama NRCS State Conservationist addresses the group about NRCS programs.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) joined the Federation of Southern Cooperatives at their 46th Annual Meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, on August 15, 2013.

At an awards dinner, Reverend C.T. Vivian was given the Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement Award because of his outstanding and consistent lifetime work for justice in America and throughout the world. This award is named after Estelle Witherspoon, leader and founder of the Freedom Quilting Bee in Alberta, Alabama.

The meeting concluded at the Federation Rural Training Center in Epes, Alabama, on August 17, 2013.

Terry Cosby, Acting Regional Conservationist for NRCS, Washington, D.C., acknowledged the Federation for their dedicated work and continuous partnership with USDA. Vivian Dickson of the NRCS Outreach and Advocacy Division joined Cosby for a special presentation to a Federation retiring staff member, Jerry Pennick, for his service, not only to the mission of the federation, but also to the USDA partnership.

Dr. William Puckett, AL NRCS State Conservationist, was on a panel with other USDA agency representatives to address agency program questions/concerns from attendees. He also presented the Alabama NRCS 2014 Small Farmer of the Year award to Thomas and Mary Freeman of Colbert County, Alabama.  They received a plaque and a inscribed clock.

Mr. Doug O’Brien, Acting USDA-Undersecretary Rural Development, was the guest speaker. He reiterated USDA Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack’s commitment to serving rural communities.

Additional USDA personnel were available with exhibits and one-on-one discussions with attendees.

Congratulations to the Federation of Southern Cooperatives for 46 years of outstanding service.

Photos:  Left - Cosby (l) and Vivian Dixon (r) presents Jerry Pennick a service award.  Right - Cosby (l) and Puckett (r) present Mr. and Mrs. Freeman Alabama NRCS Small Farmer of the Year.

Cosby Presents Pennick award for his service

Freemans AL NRCS Small Farmer of the Year 14