by Jessica Kurn
As the old adage goes, hindsight is 20/20. So to kick off 2016, we’re taking a look back at 2015 and learning from the year.
From a rocking concert that kicked off our 30th year, to popular efforts to shift policy, to an innovative new website, 2015 was a meaningful year for Farm Aid. Below are a few things that caught our attention.
In 2015, Farm Aid brought on four new staff members! One of those is Jennie Msall, who fields hotline calls from farmers as our Farm Advocate. Some farmers are looking for financial and business counseling, some are transitioning to organic methods, and this past year Jennie received many calls from farmers dealing with natural disasters (like farmers in South Carolina, where record rainfall caused farm losses upwards of $300 million).
Our travel to Illinois for the concert introduced us to some impressive Farmer Heroes. There’s Darius Jones, a charismatic, Chicago, urban farmer. We also met the Kilgus and Schneider families, who operates an innovative and sustainable hydroponic farm in Strawn, IL. And last, but not least, we got to know Andrea Hazzard in Pecatonica, IL, who grows heirloom varieties and ancient grains, and touts the art of seed-saving as one of her farm’s sustainability measures.
This year we thanked our valued partners and grantees for the boots-on-the-ground work that they do across the country. We highlighted many of them in our beautiful online grant quilt, and we’ll be adding squares for our 2015 grantees.
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