The THREE YEAR  ECONOMIC SAVINGS PROGRAM

THE THREE YEAR ECONOMIC SAVINGS Program was established by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1964. This program called for black people to pool their resources by contributing $10 a month to help fight against poverty, want, unemployment, abominable housing, hunger and nakedness of the 30-40 million black people in America. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan re-established this program in October 1991 because we still continue to face these same problems today.

The Program's name might imply that it was to last for only three years. However this will be an ongoing program until the problems of our people are eradicated. To this end we will develop consecutive three year strategic programs of action followed by evaluation, planning and recommitment to our collective vision.

In October of 2001 the Three Year Economic Savings Program was incorporated as a 501-C3, not for profit corporation. This insures that your contributions are tax deductible and the properties bought with those contributions will be owned by the corporation and not individuals.

In December 1994, we were able to acquire, with contributions from the Three Year Economic Saving Program, some farmland located in Bronwood, Georgia (see map). However, your contributions are still needed as there remains a yearly mortgage to pay off the farm land. Until we retire the mortgage, the funds needed for labor, buildings, better equipment, pivot irrigation systems and refrigerated trucks are being eaten up by the interest paid on the debt.

This land is located in the northeast corner of Terrell county, which is in the southwest part of Georgia, not far from the Florida border. The farm consists of 1556 acres of land that stretches 1.75 miles east and west and 2 miles north and south (see aerial view). The farm, which is called Muhammad Farms, was once part of a 4500-acre farm owned by the Nation of Islam until the 1970s. If it is Allah's (God) will, with your continued support and prayers we plan to repurchase the remaining acreage in the near future.

In our first year of farming we purchased one new John Deere tractor and two used tractors, a new diesel farm truck, a new three bed-room double wide trailer (which is used as an office/living quarters), a large array of farm equipment, a refrigerated trailer for on-site vegetable storage and a small irrigation system. In 1997 we acquired a new 7220 International tractor for heavy duty plowing (see picture).

In our first 5 years of farming we have grown a variety of vegetable and row crops in an effort to find the right combination of enterprises to make the farm successful. A combination of drought and lower market prices has caused our farm to suffer like the other farms in Southwest Georgia.

Although vegetable crops bring the highest returns per acre, because of the distance to our primary markets, transportation and a lack of volume demanded in those markets, our vegetable operation has suffered. In the past a farmer worked hard to grow a good crop and then just took it to the wholesale market and dropped it off. Today, however, successful farmers first establish their market, then they grow specifically for that market. We have gone to seminar after seminar and the bottom line has been "markets, markets, markets": no market, no profit.

We know that 1600 acres or 4500 acres will not feed 40 million or more people. We have estimated that we need at least 6.4 million acres of land to provide one vegetarian meal per day for our people and seven times that much if you add milk and meat. This is why we at Muhammad Farms have reached out to the other Black farmers to help them save their land and fight discrimination by the USDA. Black farmers still own about 2.5 million acres of land, but they have no market for their products. We must generate that market. They are willing to grow whatever we demand and without the poisons of the commercially grown products.

Due to the increased awareness of the lack of safe nutritious food, the demand is growing for "organic" produce, milk and meat. However, "organic" means sweat to a farmer (see picture). Labor must replace chemicals to spread bulky organic manures and fight the weeds. There is no "mystery god". Labor must be paid a decent wage or volunteers must be housed and fed. Plans are in the making to put up more living quarters on the farm when funds become available (example of trailer).

In our attempt to come up to the modern times we developed Muhammadfarms.com to serve as an information source to inform people in the cities about the food system and encourage them to organize themselves into buying clubs or coops so that Muhammad Farms and other Black farmers would have a market. Communications is the key to marketing. Minister Farrakhan instructed each household to get a computer. Therefore, Muhammad Farms will do the bulk of its communication via the website and email; snail mail is too slow and telephone is too much hit and miss.

Although the Nation of Islam has a small fleet of tractor trailers, more smaller refrigerated trucks, trailers and storage facilities are needed in our target cities to facilitate the profitable distribution of our produce. Those interested in being Farm Marketing Coordinators in your cities contact us at drridgely@muhammadfarms.com .

It's our duty to build a future for our children. It's imperative that we grow and develop into a viable agribusiness in order that we may purchase more farmland and develop other related businesses. Visit our website at http://www.muhammadfarms.com or email us at drridgely@muhammadfarms.com .

We have developed a proposal for a Ministry of Agriculture which can be viewed at:

Proposal for A Ministry of Agriculture.

You may donate your tax deductible contributions on our website or print out the donations form send them to:

The Three Year Economic Program 

4855 S. Woodlawn Ave.

Chicago, IL 60615

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