Air Date: September 22, 2022
Cooperative Advocate

John Zippert, Interim Coordinator for the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives, at FSCLAF, discusses the Real Life Struggles of Black Farmers depicted in Queen Sugar


This week Vernon interviews John Zippert, Interim Coordinator for the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives, at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund. Vernon and John will discuss the history of the real-life struggles of Black Farmers depicted in Queen Sugar; and next steps for funds awarded in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Even though John Zippert retired in December of 2018, he continues to serve as the Interim Coordinator for the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives. John previously served as the Director of Program Operations for the Federation, at their Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama, for 49 years from 1971-2018. He has also worked with the Federation on the development of affordable housing for low-income people in Alabama, including development, loan packaging and construction of over 250 units of single-family housing, self-help housing and four rural multi-family projects.
John has over 50 years’ experience in community organizing, cooperative and credit union development, community based economic development and rural development in distressed communities. He serves on the boards of many national, regional, state, and local organizations to support rural development activities.
Zippert has a BA degree in history from the City College of New York; and has participated in numerous training sessions and courses to enhance his skills in rural development. He and his wife Dr. Carol Zippert are co-publishers of the Greene County Democrat, a weekly newspaper distributed in their home rural community. The Zipperts were inducted into the National Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2017.

Our host, Vernon Oakes, is a consummate advocate for cooperatives. He is a Past President of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and he’s served on several boards and committees to advance the interests of cooperatives. Recently, he served on the Limited Equity Cooperative Task Force, established by Anita Bonds, At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia. Vernon is an MBA graduate of Stanford University, who has used his business acumen to benefit the community, by promoting the added value of the cooperative business model. 

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