Board Members & friends of the Local Farm Cooperative gather at
the Farm for a blessing of the land, September 2020.
Both co-ops have been a labor of love, raised up by many hands, including initial incubation & support from the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation; as a part of that incubation, Andre Williams & Brendan O'Connor served as the initial lead facilitators. They worked to bring the co-ops into being legally & to experiment with how to build them into cooperative busineses that were in line with the seven international principles of cooperatives, were both community-driven & owned by workers & community members, & were self-sustaining--we have not entirely met those goals yet, but they are emergent & works in progress.
the Local Restaurant's Board is still being built, and the Local Farm Board below is looking for a 7th member; as the co-ops develop and more members join, we intend to have both Boards comprised largely if not entirely of member-owners of the co-ops--what are member-owners and what exactly are cooperatives? Find out more here...
the Local Farm Cooperative Board:
Alfonza Greer (Selma, AL): Alfonza Greer, aka "Greer," is a Country Man. He's true to his ways and his word. He's one of the hardest working men this side of the Mississippi. He loves working the ground and has been awaiting the right opportunity to do this with the community--and grew up with his hands in the dirt in North Alabama. He is a Board Member and has worked as a Part-time Farm Manager at the Local Farm.
Pinkie Huff (Selma, AL): Pinkie Huff's father was a farmer and she grew up that way in Selma, where she and her brothers helped her father on the farm. Her Christian faith is very important to her, and when she considers doing something she always prays about it. She live in the neighborhood where the Local Farm Co-op is located and her husband Cecil Huff has volunteered for the Local to help with planting and clearing the land, and he has planted some on the land through a partnership with the Local.
Michial Lewis (Selma, AL): For the first eight years of his life, Dr. Michial Lewis lived with his parents and sister in a house that stood on the exact spot where the Local Farm is now located. He often helped his grandmother plow, plant, and nurture a family garden just a block away. Mike is a local pastor and is devoted to this community and it’s welfare and has played an active role in various organizations, events and endeavors.
Brendan O'Connor (Selma, AL): Brendan O'Connor grew up in the blue mountains of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. He has all good memories of fresh green beans his family grew in their modest garden and applesauce they cranked out from Virginia apples. Brendan, who works for the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation, was one of two (along with Andre Williams) who has helped incubate the two co-ops; he still unofficially supports in that role, but also regularly helps work the land.
George Paris (Tuskegee, AL): Bio in the works
Carolyn Pickett (Selma, AL): Carolyn Vassar Pickett is a Selma native having received her elementary education in the local private and public school systems. Carolyn has always loved the out-of-doors and continues to enjoy gardening, which includes flowers and vegetables. She attributes this to her father's enjoyment of gardening and the amount of time she spent planting seeds with him during her life. She has fond childhood memories of visits with her maternal grandparents at their farm where they raised cows and goats, fished from their private pond, grew and harvested much of the food which they consumed, both meat and plants. She recalls with relish, the Nanny goat that her paternal grandfather raised specifically for the milk that he consumed to help with digestive disorders. Carolyn and her sister Imogene continue to own the inherited maternal farm in Marengo County as well as forested land in Shelby County.