Fort Valley State University employee Brennan Washington will serve in a national fellowship program focused on empowering rural communities.
Washington, outreach coordinator for FVSU’s Southern SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) program, is one of 25 people in the U.S. and Canada selected as a 2018 Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) fellow. His term, beginning April 22, will last two years.
BALLE is an organization that focuses on building relationships between investors, economic and community leaders to develop vibrant local economies while enhancing or rebuilding the surrounding environment. The Southern SARE outreach coordinator said a lobbyist advocating for sustainable agriculture issues nominated him for the fellowship.
His main duty as a BALLE fellow is to participate in meetings with other fellows to discuss issues related to building stronger local economies. His goal is to inform people of his work and learn about the efforts of his counterparts and apply those methods to his assignments in the Southeast.
“I’m deeply humbled by my selection as a BALLE fellow,” Washington said. “I’m especially excited about the opportunity to do some extensive work on how sustainable agriculture can help in reinvigorating local economies.” For example, Washington is taking part in an effort to get a local commercial processing plant built in Fort Valley for small-scale meat producers. “It will be about a $5 million project that will bring a tax base and jobs,” Washington said.
Dr. Mark Latimore Jr., FVSU’s Extension administrator, said Washington’s appointment as a BALLE fellow is a great opportunity for him but also emphasizes FVSU’s Extension outreach efforts in providing service to clients.
For more information about the BALLE Fellowship and work affiliated with the program, contact Washington at (478) 825-6283, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.