Archive for the ‘Farm Aid’ Category

Support Family Farmers, Support Farm Aid

Thursday, December 7th, 2017
2017 has been an especially difficult year for family farmers. With wildfires and devastating hurricanes, farmers across the country have been hit hard, if not completely wiped out. Though the disasters have passed, and the headlines have disappeared, Farm Aid continues to help farmers tackle the immense recovery effort ahead of them. Your support means we can be there for farmers every day.
Michael, Caroline and their daughter Luna with their water pump, rebuilt after the flood on Bootstraps Farm. Photo courtesy of Michael Buttrill.
Let me tell you about two farmers who know all too well what a natural disaster can mean. Michael Buttrill and Caroline Smith of Bootstraps Farm in Renick, West Virginia, faced catastrophic flooding in 2016 that wiped out their farm. With the farm lost, Caroline said that they were ready to throw in the towel. But Farm Aid and their community had their backs.
Caroline and Michael joined us at the Farm Aid concert this year and they talked about the community that has grown around their farm—the same community that rallied around them when they needed help. Farm Aid was there, too.
Caroline and Michael (right) join (from left) host Kara Holsopple, Farm Aid artist Valerie June, and farmers Lisa Freeman and Tara Rockacy at Farm Aid 2017.
On the Farm Aid stage, Caroline said, “We got a Farm Aid check in the mail and it was like, ‘We don’t have to worry about paying the bills.’ It really meant a lot to have an organization step up and say, ‘We don’t want to lose you, we want you to be able to come back and grow next year.’ Because we weren’t getting any relief from FEMA or the USDA right away.” Michael agreed, “With Farm Aid and our community, who turned out with donations and rakes and shovels, I knew, OK, we’re going back to work!'”
This is what Farm Aid is about: showing farmers we stand with them, especially in tough times. And we’re there for the long run, too, not just in times of trouble.
All of us gain when we strengthen family farm agriculture. Nothing is more crucial to our well-being than a healthy food supply that sources directly from family farmers who care for our soil and water.
Stay Strong and Positive,
Willie Nelson
Farm Aid President and Founder
P.S. Thank you for your support. I’m glad to know I can count on you.

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Some #WednesdayWisdom from Lukas Nelson, @lukasnelsonofficial.

The Highwaymen at Farm Aid 1993

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Happy #GivingTuesday #FarmAid

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
We are excited to be participating today in #GivingTuesday—a global day dedicated to generosity and giving back—and we hope you will join us! Farm Aid cannot strengthen family farmers and build the movement for family farm food without you. Our goal is to raise $10,000 today to support Farm Aid’s work to keep family farmers on the land and thriving all year long. But we can only reach our goal with your help.
Let’s show family farmers how much we appreciate the hard work they do for us. To help kickstart our campaign, a group of generous Farm Aid donors will match the first $3,000 raised today.
How can you join in on #GivingTuesday to make a difference in the lives of family farmers and all of us who eat?
1. Make a gift to Farm Aid on #GivingTuesday 
2. Spread the Word
Next, help us get the word out on social media. Post your favorite food and farm photos or tell people why you love Farm Aid and use the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #FarmAid.
3. Eat Well, Do Good
Finally, don’t forget to support family farmers every day by eating good food grown close to home!
Help us reach our goal! And, thank you for your continued support.

“I’m Thankful for the Family Farmers Who put Good Food on our tables,” Willie Nelson

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

photo – Scott Sharpe)


Thank you, farmers

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Willie Nelson: “On Thanksgiving, remember family farmers and their challenges”

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

They are the economic bedrock of rural communities. We should recognize that and help strengthen them.
by:  Willie Nelson, contributor

I’ve spent most of my life on the roads of this great country. One of the unique benefits of this way of life has been the chance to really get to know folks and learn what’s going on in their lives. It gives me a sense of the nation’s pulse that is much more personal than anything we can get from news headlines.

These are hard times for too many. People are struggling, and many of us are growing more troubled by the divide that has erupted in America, separating neighbors and family members.

On Thursday, most of us will come to the table as families, friends, communities and a nation to celebrate our blessings. What people may not think about is that it’s the family farmer who brings us all together. We will gather over a meal that represents the year-round hard work of often-forgotten Americans — our family farmers. Farmers are working to stay on their land, all the while knitting communities together by providing healthy food and an economic bedrock for rural communities. This is an important time to recognize their efforts and do all we can to strengthen them.

In 2017, along with their neighbors, family farmers were hit hard by devastating natural disasters. With recent wildfires across the West and three devastating hurricanes in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, farmers in these areas experienced extreme if not complete loss of their businesses and homes — and, in many cases, a legacy of generations.

We’ve been uplifted by the outpouring of generosity for farmers who experienced these natural disasters, allowing them to tackle the immense recovery effort ahead. It means that fellow Americans understand their value not only as food providers, but as the heart of our communities.

Even before these disasters struck, family farmers faced an onslaught of policies that increase the corporate control they’ve battled for decades. The prices farmers receive for the fruits of their labor have been down for four years, and they are not expected to rise anytime soon. Meanwhile, expenses keep going up. New, young farmers are facing tough barriers to getting started on the land, even if they have the will and drive to try.

Farm Aid hears from farmers every day on our hotline and through our online Farmer Resource Network. Then, we work with our advocate partners to navigate the challenges of these farmers. We see a greater impact when people work together. We all have a role to play in creating a system of agriculture that values family farmers, good food, soil and water, and strong communities. It is inspiring when people come together in celebration of a common, worthy purpose. In sharing our victories as well as our struggles, we find strength and hope.

Thanksgiving is the perfect backdrop for a family conversation about the folks who grow your food. It’s a chance to spend some time learning about the farmers in your community, and to dig in to see how you can participate in your local food system. It makes you feel good to help somebody. And once you get that feeling, you can’t stop, you know. It’s true, the old saying that you get 10 times back what you give.

I hope you’ll join me on Thanksgiving by saying a word or two of thanks — not just for the food on your table, but for the family farmers who woke up early that day and every day to ensure that we have a food system that is good for us, our communities and our country.

Willie Nelson is president and co-founder of Farm Aid. Farm Aid’s mission is to keep family farmers on their land in order to guarantee an agricultural system that values family farmers, good food, soil and water, and strong communities. The annual Farm Aid concert celebrates farmers, eaters and music coming together for change.


Farmers Helping Farmers #FarmAId

Friday, November 17th, 2017

“We can do something to change the world.” — Neil Young #FarmAId

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

“We have to keep letting farmers know that we believe in them  Whether we live in the city or not.  You can do something to change the world  Just by changing the food you eat.  Start from the bottom up.”

— Neil Young

Willie Nelson and Greg Allman, “Midnight Rider” (Farm Aid 2007)

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Happy birthday, Farm AId Board Member Neil Young

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

Farm Aid Board Members Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp.

photo:  Brian Bruner

Neil Young was born on November 12, 1945, in Toronto, Canada

Neil Young was born on November 12, 1945, in Toronto, Canada

Veterans to Farmers

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Veterans to Farmers of Denver, CO, joined us this year at Farm Aid 2017 and were part of the HOMEGROWN Village with a hydroponic growing system and complete greenhouse set up on site! Their veteran farmers talked with festivalgoers about their farming operations.

“I love to see Neil get fired up.” — Corky Jones, Nebraska farmer

Friday, November 10th, 2017

We love seeing @neilyoung get fired up too! Thanks to Corky Jones, a Nebraska farmer and activist for providing today's #WednesdayWisdom. We've been proud to work with Corky since the very beginning of Farm Aid, and @willienelsonofficial has labeled him a

Dave Matthews and Buddy Guy at Farm Aid's 20th anniversary concert I n Chicago in 2005. #tbt

Read about about all the great work done by Farm Aid, and board members Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp and hundreds of volunteers have done to help America’s family farmers, and what we can do:

Farm to School Programs

Monday, October 30th, 2017
October is National Farm to School Month and at Farm Aid we’re celebrating the remarkable progress that’s been made, while still pushing for more. Farm to School programs connect farmers and schools to provide healthy, farm fresh food and revolutionize the learning environment. These programs, of all shapes and sizes, are producing tangible benefits for kids, farmers and communities.
The Farm to School Act of 2017—introduced in Congress with bipartisan support—expands and improves on these programs for students, family farmers and communities nationwide. But, this legislation is not a done deal.
Take action before October is over! Tell Congress you want them to:
  • Increase funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program from $5 million to $15 million;
  • Include preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and farmers; and
  • Improve participation of beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
From farmers to students, parents, school food administrators, teachers and activists, there are many people making Farm to School programs possible. Read the stories of some of the people we call, Farm to School Rockstars.
Kevin Hesser is definitely one of these rockstars. He has been infusing hands-on gardening into his curriculum in San Andreas, CA, for almost two decades. He recalls when he started teaching about food and gardens that he had to get creative since these programs were few and far between. Now garden-based education is much more common, and both teachers and students are seeing the benefits. Kevin says, “There is a power in that hands-on approach. A garden provides the inspiration and space that we need to learn.”

Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 2017

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

@willienelsonofficial backstage at #FarmAid2017 (he was watching @sherylcrow's performance!).