Scaling Up Rural Resilience Strategies: From Chicken Coops to Egg Cooperatives - Lideres Campesinas
Early in the RC Seeds of Rural Resilience conference, Laura and Elizabeth, representatives of Lideres Campesinas, members of Alianza Nacional and Rural Coalition, reported on their emerging egg cooperative. They spoke about their desire to scale up, but also how they were providing quality food for their neighbors, who understand that organic, sustainable practices are better for their families:
“More and more people are asking for our eggs, but we cannot find land to house more chickens. Land is very expensive.”
Listening closely, Rick Lopez from the local Farm Service Agency office informed them that with sales exceeding $1000 dollars/year they were eligible “small producers.” He worked with them on the spot to explore federal programs that could help them scale up operations, find land, and meet the demand. He also offered to reach out to USDA in California. In two quick hours, “Las Mamas de los Pollitos” had drafted their first Business Plan!