Investment in farmers is investment in Black Belt

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our hats go off to the Black Belt farmers and the Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program. Not only are they trying to make a living, but they provide such an awesome service to the community.

The future $2M Family Farm Fruit and Vegetable Marketing Center in Marion Junction will not just give farmers a place to go to market, it will have a huge economic impact on Dallas County and the Black Belt as a whole.

“A lot of our small farmers have a lot of produce that spoils on them because they don’t have the proper storage facility,” County Extension Agent for Dallas and Perry Counties Alphonso Elliott said.

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If farmers can make a profit and are known by the quality of

fresh fruits and vegetables they grow just by selling them on the side of the road, once a Black Belt brand and produce standard has been established, the marketing opportunities will be limitless.

Once farming can be seen as a viable business and not a dying one, the younger generation can pick up the plow and take the art of farming to another level.

The knowledge and technology are available through agricultural research at Alabama A& M and Auburn universities.

It’s up to Dallas County and the Black Belt to make the investment today to reap a harvest tomorrow.