By Kathleen Kirkpatrick, Hometown Action (pictured at right, on far right)

When I began thinking more strategically about possible partnerships for Hometown Action’s growth as an organization, Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (ASAN) was an obvious choice. A primary reason I was originally drawn to Hometown Action is our emphasis on people-centered, sustainable solutions for small towns and rural communities. We provide a strong network and training to help people where they are, building local power through citizen engagement and the electoral process. ASAN’s mission is to train farmers, educate consumers and policy-makers, and strengthen the bonds that hold together our local food systems. Both organizations’ grassroots approach to building stronger communities is vital to long term success.

Agriculture has historically been a major economic driver in Alabama, providing many jobs and supporting a variety of local industries. Small-scale gardening and growing is also an important food source for many families. Agriculture and related industries are estimated to contribute over $70 Billion and more than 580,000 jobs in Alabama.

And yet the people of our state are suffering – especially in smaller towns and rural communities. Corporate interests have increasingly taken over, leaving small communities destitute as businesses and necessary support systems such as schools and hospitals close. Young people move away when they can, with no local prospects for a good education or jobs in their home area. Our environment is exploited and polluted for short-term profit by non-resident corporate interests.

ASAN and Hometown Action have launched a survey we developed to help identify local and regional needs and address concerns in Alabama’s small towns and rural communities. Please take a few minutes to complete our survey and share it with your family, friends, and other community members.

Take the survey today, at!

We plan to review early results at this year’s ASAN Food & Farm Forum on December 7-8. The survey will remain open for wider distribution through the Spring of 2019. Anyone who needs assistance completing the survey by alternate means can also contact Kathleen at 334-513-1103 to provide their confidential responses. If your organization is interested in helping us recruit participation in the survey, please contact Kathleen Kirkpatrick via email to skathleenkirkpatrick<at>


About Hometown Action:

Hometown Action was formed in late 2017 as a network for all of the people of Alabama with a vision for an inclusive and sustainable future, with a particular focus on rural communities. Whether you are a lifelong resident or a newcomer to our beautiful state, we invite you to get involved at Together we can build the multiracial working class power we need to achieve sustainable communities.