The University of West Alabama Regional Center for Community and Economic Development – Black Belt Economic Development Alliance

Best Place to Live and Work in the Southeast U.S.

Wall Street Journal, March, 2009

Alabama - State of the Year - Four Years in a Row

Site Selection Magazine

Top Five in U.S. for Business Climate - 2007

Southern Business & Development Magazine

Number One in Corporate Diversity

Pollina Corporate Real Estate


View Our BBEDA Introduction Video

See the Black Belt Economic Development Alliance's introductory video to find out more about opportunities in our area.

The Black Belt Economic Development Alliance website is sponsored in collaboration with the University of West Alabama's
Division of Outreach Services
Station 35
Livingston, AL 35470
tel: 205–652–3665
fax: 205–652–3516

The Black Belt Economic Development Alliance

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industry sectors > agriculture forestry fishing


January 19, 2015 - January 21, 2015
Economic Development of Alabama's Winter Conference

May 16, 2015 - May 19, 2015
Alabama League of Municipalities Annual Meeting


Agriculture Map

The central and western counties in Alabama are known as the "Black Belt" because of the dark surface colors of many of the soils. Alabama has approximately 48,500 farms. The Black Belt is the agricultural center of Alabama's economy. Alabama has around 22,000 water acres of fish farms where nearly 200 commercial farmers produce 25 different aquatic species. Farm-raised catfish is by far the dominant species, with Alabama ranking second in the United States in annual catfish sales. Currently, Alabama farmers produce approximately 100 million pounds of catfish per year. Alabama has the land and water resources to support an industry 10 times its current size. Hunting has an $840 million economic impact on the state and creates more than 17,500 jobs.

The forestry industry is the largest manufacturing industry that produced an estimated $15.39 billion worth of products in 2005. Alabama forests are growing more trees than ever recorded. These forests support 48,000 people who are directly employed with forest-based companies and 100,000 people who are indirectly dependent upon the forest industry.

There are approximately 2,104 jobs directly related to the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting sector in the Black Belt.