Archive for the ‘Farm Aid’ Category

This day in Willie Nelson history: Farm Aid IV (April 7, 1990)

Monday, April 7th, 2014

On April 7, 1990, Willie Nelson hosted Farm Aid IV in Indianapolis. Elton John dedicates “Candle In The Wind” to AIDS patient Ryan White, who dies that night. Also on hand: Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Dwight Yoakam, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp and Neil Young.


Selling out in 90 minutes, Farm Aid’s fourth concert in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 7 brought 70 artists together with farmers, environmental and consumer advocates. A new message emerged from that effort: the well-being of our land, food and water supply depends on a network of family farmers who care about how our food is grown.

The concert was televised live on The Nashville Network, and a two-hour highlight was re-broadcast to ten million viewers on CBS. In additional to Willie Nelson & Family, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, the musical line-up included Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Jakcson Brown, Elton John, Don Henley, Dwight Yoakam, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Garth Brooks. Elton John dedicates “Candle In The Wind” to AIDS patient Ryan White, who dies that night.

Willie Nelson and Kimmie Rhodes perform “Just One Love” live at the Farm Aid concert in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 7th, 1990. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid’s board of directors in 2001.

For more information about Farm Aid, visit:

“The Highwaymen” @ Farm Aid 1985 (with Glen Campbell)

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

The Highwaymen, with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Glen Campbell sing “Highwayman” at Farm Aid in Champaign, Illinois on September 22, 1985.

Saturday, April 5th, 2014


Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 1985, “Whiskey River”

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Family Farmer Heroes

Friday, March 14th, 2014


Two heroes of family farmers got together in Oklahoma last week when Willie Nelson and farm advocate Mona Lee Brock caught up. Read about it on the Farm Aid blog:I’m pleased to report that two American icons got together recently in Oklahoma.

The first, Farm Aid president Willie Nelson, needs no introduction to the Farm Aid faithful. But who’s that with him in this photo

That’s Mona Lee Brock, longtime farm advocate in Oklahoma, whose crisis and suicide intervention work with Oklahoma farmers for more than two decades has saved many farmers’ lives. Willie himself has said of her, “Mona Lee Brock has been the angel at the other end of the line, the person who Farm Aid has always relied on for the most desperate farmers.”  Even today, though Mona Lee is “officially” retired, I still call her for advice or assistance when I field difficult farmer calls from Oklahoma on the Farm Aid hotline. And she is as willing as ever to help out in any way she can.

So, when Mona Lee called us last month to inquire about the possibility of getting tickets to see Willie’s show in her hometown of Durant, Oklahoma, well, we were happy to oblige. We knew Willie would be glad to make time for her and her friends after the show. Later, Mona Lee let me know that it was “the thrill of my lifetime” to visit with Willie backstage.

Mona Lee Brock is one of only a handful of deeply experienced farm advocates remaining from the early days of Farm Aid. There is no way to calculate the value of her experience, as she not only saved farms, but saved farmers’ lives.

As Farm Aid’s farm advocate in charge of our 1-800-FARM-AID and farmer hotline, I invite you to contact me at to learn more about how you can help us develop the Farm Advocate Link, our ongoing project with RAFI-USA and many other partners to recruit, train and support a new generation of farm advocates. We need about 50 Mona Lee Brocks out there, angels at the other end of the line, to let farmers know how fundamentally valuable their work is for all of us and to help them not only to survive, but to thrive.


Support Farm Aid

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

DSC_0452 by you.

Farm Aid (9/30/06)

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Farmers can grow our fuel here at home

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


Farm Aid Heroes: Neil Young, Willie Nelson

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


Thank a Farmer

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


Willie Nelson, Farm Aid

Monday, February 17th, 2014


Farm Aid Heroes

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

#TBT Farm Aid executive director Carolyn Mugar with Willie Nelson and Neil Young at Farm Aid V in 1992 in Texas.

Farm Aid executive director Carolyn Mugar with Willie Nelson and Neil Young at Farm Aid V in 1992 in Texas.

Farm Aid Press Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY (9/21/13)

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Each year before the annual Farm Aid concert, the Board of Directors hold a press conference, and invite farmers and other musicians to join them. Farm Aid put together this short video of the conference, featuring Farm Aid President and co-founder Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, Farm Aid’s Executive Director Carolyn Mugar, as well as representatives from GrowNYC’s YouthMarket and National Young Farmers Coalition were on the stage.

Farm Aid Reviews 2014 Farm Bill: The Good, The Bad, the Ugly

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

farm bill


Read report on Farm Aid’s Website Here.

It’s official! After years of setbacks and political gridlock, President Obama just signed the 2014 Farm Bill, a 959-page behemoth, called the Agricultural Act of 2014, into law.

If you’re tired of hearing about the Farm Bill, we can hardly blame you. Initial Farm Bill negotiations started back in 2010 and it has taken Congress an inexcusable length of time to get something passed. Needless to say, our family farmers and ranchers (and we eaters!) have waited far too long for several critical programs to receive renewed funding.

We’re fatigued, to say the least, and not the least bit impressed with the atrocious, back-door deal made between just four lawmakers, which unraveled unprecedented reforms to commodity programs. That said, several of the most innovative programs in federal farm policy ever were protected in this bill—some even received more funding than we anticipated.

We get into the details of what’s in the $100 billion-a-year bill below, but as a final note, we’ll state that lawmakers have once again dodged implementing deep, structural reforms to our food and farm system.

What does that mean? It means this farm bill fails to secure a fair price for farmers that both covers their cost of production and provides a living wage. It does nothing to control overproduction of key commodities and somehow, under the guise of the “free market,” corporate power and moneyed agribusiness firms gets to proceed unfettered while our farmers grapple in markets so volatile they could give you whiplash. (That’s a rigged market in our opinion, not a free one, but we’ll save that for another blog post…) It means we’ve slashed conservation programs at a time when farmers need everything we can possibly put together to address climate change and rebuild our soil and water resources. It means that our federal government will look the other way as our farmers face corporate abuse and market concentration, instead of using their full authority to do something about it.

The bottom line is—-it’s not enough. This bill won’t steer our agricultural sector towards the true resiliency and diversity it needs for this generation and generations to come. It takes important steps in that direction, but we still have important battles ahead.

Despite the fatigue, we’re not too tired to keep up the good fight and we have to say we’re proud. We’re proud of all of YOU who helped fight for the dozens of amazing programs that we’ve won and who helped ward off nasty corporate lobbying efforts. Whether you joined us at our Action Center, were one of thousands of individuals who signed petitions at the Farm Aid concert the past few years, or are more generally an engaged farmer or eater who is using the power of your voice, we say thanks!

We’ll keep you posted on how to join us in bringing real change to food and agriculture. In the meantime, here are some highlights from the bill:


Pete Seeger, Farm Aid 2013 (Sarasota Springs, NY) (9/21/13)

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

We are so blessed to have had Pete Seeger's presence on the Farm Aid 2013 stage. Rest in peace, Pete Seeger. Thank you for your tireless fight for peace, justice and the planet, and for your music.

“We are so blessed to have had Pete Seeger’s presence on the Farm Aid 2013 stage. Rest in peace, Pete Seeger. Thank you for your tireless fight for peace, justice and the planet, and for your music.”

– Farm Aid