Archive for the ‘Farm Aid’ Category

No farmers, no food, no future

Monday, October 16th, 2017

 

Learn about the work Farm Aid does to support our family farmers and what you can do to help:

www.FarmAid.org

Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty (Farm Aid 1985)

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

farmaid2012a

Farm Aid Expands Family Farm Disaster Fund Relief to Include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Organization to issue emergency grants to support local and regional organizations working in hurricane-affected regions

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have caused historic destruction in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean. In early September, Farm Aid activated its Family Farm Disaster Fund to provide aid to organizations helping family farmers affected by Hurricane Harvey, and later expanded to include those affected by Hurricane Irma.

“Our hearts are with everyone affected by these devastating hurricanes. The most recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria on the 3.4 million residents of Puerto Rico is overwhelming, and it is Farm Aid’s way to do what we can to help,” said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. “Puerto Rico is part of the United States and family farmers there are facing unimaginable losses. They need to know we stand with them.”

Farm Aid has partnered with Visit Rico, a non-profit organization based in Puerto Rico. Visit Rico’s mission is to strengthen Puerto Rico’s agricultural economy through sustainable agritourism to achieve food sovereignty. Visit Rico has found that supplementing cash flow for farmers is the fastest way to help them get back on their feet to start planting seeds again. Visit Rico aims to temporarily replace the economic stability farmers had from their local farmer’s markets, which must be rebuilt. To read more about their effort, visit gofundme.com/5markets.

Since activation of the Family Farm Disaster Fund following Hurricane Harvey, Farm Aid has raised more than $82,000. Farm Aid will utilize every dollar raised to distribute emergency funds to farm families affected by the hurricanes in partnership with local organizations working on the ground; to offer resources that help farmers navigate their farm recovery options, from mental health services to federal funding opportunities; and to advocate for needed disaster recovery funds and resources from the federal government.

Farm Aid is also working with partners in disaster-affected areas to determine the long-term needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. If you are a farmer and have been affected by these devastating hurricanes, additional tools are available at www.farmaid.org/disaster. To donate, please visit farmaid.org/hurricanes.

Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For more than 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $50 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Even The Losers (Live at Farm Aid 1986) #RIPTomPetty

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform “Even The Losers” live via satellite for the Farm Aid concert in Austin, Texas on July 4, 1986. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land.

This day in Willie Nelson History: Farm Aid 25 (Milwaukee, WI) (Oct. 2, 2010)

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Farm Aid 25th Anniversary Concert at Miller Park on October 2, 2010 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

photo:  P. Natkin

Rolling Stone
November 2010
by Austin Scaggs

On the morning of Farm Aid’s 25th anniversary concert in Milwaukee, as rain pelted his tour bus, Willie Nelson reminisced about how it began.  “I remember hearing Bob Dylan say at Live Aid, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if some of this money stayed here for the farmers?’” said Nelson, holding court at the dining table, with a pack of Zig-Zags and a lighter in his left hand. “I said, ‘The man’s right!  We should take care of our own!”


www.FarmAid.org

www.uwmpost.com

Eleven hours and 16 acts later (including fellow Farm Aid board members Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, as well as Jeff Tweedy, Nora Jones, Band of Horses and Kenny Chesney, Nelson closed the 25th Farm Aid with a surprise guest:  Steven Tyler, who injected life into the marathon concert and inspired the loudest roar of the day from the 35,000.  The pair dueted on the Tyler-penned country ballad, “One Time Too Many” and Aerosmith’s “Once is Enough” as their Farm Aid co-stars watched from the wings.   “Just to sit on the side of the stage and watch Willie is the coolest,” said Matthews.  “He’s my hero.”

With rain falling and temperatures in the 40s, a decision was made early to close Miller Park’s retractable roof.  “It’s like playing in a giant plastic ball,” Matthews remarked, but Young used the staium’s booming acoustics to his advantage, creating swirls of feedback during his solo electric set on classics like “Down by the River,” “Ohio” and “Long May You Run.”

“Factory farms are the reason we have food alerts,” Young told the crowd.  “They are the reason why we have dying people and disease.”  Young — joined by Matthews, Mellencamp and Nelson — closed his set with the 1970’s jam, “Homegrown,” a Farm Aid staple.

Matthews — in his 13th Farm Aid performance since 1995 — appeared with guitarist Tim Reynolds and hit on “All Along the Watchtower,” “Don’t Drink the Water” and cuts from his 2003 solo album, “Some Devil.

“There is a sincerity in this organization that is unlike a lot of charitable concerts,” Matthews said, hanging out in his tour bus.  “Like Live Earth — that left a bad taste in my mouth.  But with Farm Aid there’s an honesty and a real clear goal that is to raise awareness about the unforgivable way that the government treats the small farmers in America, where a majority of subsidies go to giant corporations and big agribusinesses.”

Nora Jones, alternating between guitar and piano, sauntered through “Come Away With Me,” Johnny Cash’s “Cry, Cry, Cry” and “How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart” (Hank Williams’ lyrics set to music by Jones).  After celebrating her first Farm Aid in the dugout with a vodka cocktail, Jones re-emerged for the all-star finale of “Good Hearted Woman,” a song Nelson wrote with Waylon Jennings.

This year’s event raised more than $2 million, bringing Farm Aid’s 25-year total to $39 million.  “I was seven when I watched the first Farm Aid on TV,” marveled Band of Horses singer Ben Bridwell backstage.  “I’ve known about it longer than I’ve known my colors or how to do long division.  You say yes to just be in these dude’s company, but the fact that we’re in this for the most noble of causes makes it so fucking cool.”

“As the family farmer goes, so goes America,” John Mellencamp said, before tearing through “Pink Houses,” “Save Some Time to Dream” and “Scarecrow,” which he also performed at the inaugural benefit, held in Champaign, Illionis in 1985.

Before his set, he puffed on American Spirits in his Airstream trailer outside the venue.  Mellencamp reminisced about that first show, “Everybody in the fucking world was there,” he said.  “And I remember, for 45 minutes after the show, I had to wait on the bus for Willie, who was out there signing autographs.  When he finally got on the bus, I asked, ‘What the fuck took so long, Willie?’  And he goes, ‘Something you should think about.  I’ve got to take care of the people who take care of us.’”

Jen Bronenkant took this great photo of Willie Nelson and Steven Tyler at the Farm Aid concert in Milwaukee, on October 2, 2010.

Mellencamp, who noted taht Farm Aid is the longest-running music charity in history, also had a request.  “Willie deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.  We’re all just Willie’s little helpers.”

I encourage you to purchase the November 2010 Rolling Stone.

Willie Nelson and Steven Tyler (Farm Aid 25, Miller Park, Milwaukee) (10/2/2010)

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Throwback to Farm Aid's 25th anniversary at @millerpark in Milwaukee when very special surprise guest #StevenTyler joined @willienelsonofficial on stage! #tbt

Steven Tyler was a surprise guest at Farm Aid 25 in Milwaukee in 2010.

Willie Nelson, Arlo Guthrie, Dottie West, “City of New Orleans” (Farm Aid 1985)

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Every year, artists generously donate their time, performance, travel costs, to travel to the designated city where the Farm Aid Concert is held, and help raise funds to support American’s family farmers.

We can help too:
www.FarmAid.org

John Mellencamp #FarmAid2017

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Thanks to Janis Tillerson, for these great photos from #FarmAid2017.

 

#FarmAid2017 by the numbers

Thursday, September 28th, 2017
www.FarmAid.org
Farm Aid 2017 was an incredible day! We continue to be impressed by the dedication of the artists who came together to highlight the challenges family farmers face and amplify farmer voices. As Farm Aid gets back to the daily work of answering the farmer hotline and helping farmers recover from devastating natural disasters, our favorite moments from the concert energize and inspire us. Here are a few of the numbers that capture how Farm Aid 2017 was a truly unique festival.
Photo: Lise Metzger
16
Sets of incredible music on stage.
Photo: Lise Metzger
22,691
Concertgoers.
Photo: Jessica Ilyse Kurn
Skillshares and demonstrations to encourage festivalgoers to dig in!
Photo: 412 Food Rescue
3,261 
Pounds of food rescued and donated to Washington County community organizations.
Photo: Lise Metzger
29
Interactive exhibits in the HOMEGROWN Village.
Photo: Lise Metzger
38 
States represented by farmers (and future farmers!)
Photo: Scott Streble
375
Volunteers who made it all run smoothly.
Photo: Lise Metzger
12
Cubic yards of compostable material diverted from the landfill to make soil.
Photo: Lise Metzger
12
Young people selling 6 kinds of local fruits at 2 HOMEGROWN Youthmarkets.
Photo: Brian Bruner
7
Extraordinary artist collaborations.
Photo: Lise Metzger
6,853
T-shirts sold, made with organic cotton.
48
States and 5 countries represented by ticket buyers coming together for family farmers.
Photo: Sabine Carey
Events for farmers and eaters preceding the concert, including 2 farm tours, a farmer gathering, and a public forum about the need for public investment in local food systems.
And that’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed this look at Farm Aid 2017 by the numbers and hope you’ll join us for next year’s festival.
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
View our videos on YouTube View on Instagram

10 Reasons Farm Aid is like no other festival

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

www.Billboard.com
by:  Thom Duffy

The 31st annual Farm Aid concert, benefiting the nation’s family farmers, rolled into Bristow, Va., on Saturday, Sept. 17, with the organization’s guiding foursome — Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews — joined during the day-long festival at the Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater by Alabama Shakes, Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Margo Price and others.

Also sharing the bill: Jamey Johnson, accompanied by Alison Krauss; Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real; Insects vs Roberts (featuring Micah Nelson); Ian Mellencamp (the nephew of John Mellencamp); the Wisdom Indian Dancers, and Star Swain.  Swain opened with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Her impromptu performance of the anthem at the Lincoln Memorial in June became a viral video, leading to her appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

Saturday’s high-spirited show was an 11-hour celebration of American roots music — rock, country, folk, soul and R&B. It was carried live at farmaid.org and on the SiriusXM channel Willie’s Roadhouse. The back-to-back triple play of the hottest acts on this year’s bill — Rateliff, Simpson and Alabama Shakes — lent a strong blues and soul feel to the day.

As in previous years, Farm Aid 2016 was like no other festival you’ve ever seen. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. Farm Aid’s headliner is 83 years old — but you’d never know it.

It’s funny how time slips away. Willie Nelson turned 83 on April 29. To put that in perspective, consider that the oldest superstar headliner at the Desert Trip festival — dubbed “Old Chella” and taking place in Coachella, Calif., in October — is Bob Dylan, who is a mere 75. Nelson opened the afternoon set with his traditional singing of “The Lord’s Prayer” and closed the show after 11 p.m. with an all-star finale. From his nimble guitar solos on “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” (played on his battered six-string nicknamed Trigger) to his vocal romp through “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” Nelson never sounded better.

2. This is the nation’s longest-running concert for a cause.

“This is number 31,” said Nelson. First staged on Sept. 22, 1985 in Champaign, Ill., in response to that era’s farm foreclosure crisis (and inspired by a remark made by Bob Dylan two months earlier during the Live Aid benefit for Africa famine relief), Farm Aid hasn’t stopped. The organization has raised more than $50 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. While the annual concert draws the headlines, Farm Aid has a staff that works year-round to keep family farmers on their land, promote the Good Food movement and help shape government food policy. John Mellencamp said he recently was asked, “Farm Aid, you guys still doing that?” He replied, “You still eating?”

3. Farmers themselves are the opening act.

At an onstage press conference before the music began, farming activists from the region shared the spotlight with the musicians. Organizers of Appalachian Harvest described their efforts to build a family-farm-based economy as an alternative to tobacco and coal industries. A nurse practitioner from Charlottesville, Va., described how connecting patients to food from family farmers through the community group Local Food Hub helped battle diabetes and other health crises. Activists with Dreaming Out Loud in Washington, D.C. described how urban farms had become a tool for community organizing. Said Neil Young: “These people are the heroes. These people are warriors for tomorrow. This revolution starts with us. Try to make sure when you buy your food, you support the people who are growing it.”

4. Farm Aid moves to a new state every year — with a purpose.

Unlike destination festivals staged on established sites, Farm Aid takes place in a different region every year, allowing the organization to connect with farmers nationwide. The Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater, which most recently hosted Farm Aid in 2000, is some 40 miles west of Washington., D.C. The week before the concert, Farm Aid-affiliated groups teamed up with the National Farmers Union to fly in 275 farm families to the nation’s capital to press for emergency aid amid a new farming crisis of falling income and rising costs. “We know that they are hurting,” says Farm Aid executive director Carolyn Mugar. “They have been left behind by their elected officials often and exploited by corporations who have so much power over their markets.”

5. For Farm Aid performers, this cause is personal.

Dave Matthews described a recent encounter with the neighbor of a North Dakota farmer, who became sick with cancer. “Then Farm Aid came in and took care of him” with financial help, Matthews was told. Margo Price, whose debut solo album is titled Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, remembered when her father lost their family farm in Illinois, during the same foreclosure crisis of the `80s that led Nelson to launch Farm Aid. Jamey Johnson spoke of his realization that “the more time I spend in my grocery store looking for food from family farms, the less time I spend in my doctor’s office.” Nathaniel Rateliff, a native of Missouri, says he was very aware of Farm Aid from its start. “Everybody was losing their farm in our region when I was a kid.  Even up until 1997, I was working in a plastics factory with [Night Sweats bassist] Joseph Pope and there was an old man working with us, who had been a pig farmer. He said, `I’ll butcher and give you a pig for $80.’ The factory farms had overproduced so much pork that they’d driven the price down” and he lost his farm.

6. Pictures of pigs, potatoes and poultry.

And kale, tomatoes, tractors, silos, barns, windmills and more.  Among the most striking aspects of Farm Aid’s production is the spectacular farm-centered photography projected both behind the performers and on video screens.  The images this year, which powerfully complemented the performances, were the work of photographers Patty O’Brien, Molly M. Peterson, Lise Metzger and Sabine Carey.

7. The food at Farm Aid is Homegrown — with a capital H.

Homegrown Concessions — a registered trademark of Farm Aid — “is the way in which everybody who goes to a concert can eat healthy great food from family farmers,” says Farm Aid associate director Glenda Yoder. “This is our tenth year of doing this.  And we make it a deal point [with the venues] that all the food on the property comes from a family farm, is produced to an ecological standard, with a fair price to the producer.” A choice menu item: the pasture-raised pork chop sandwich from Missouri’s Patchwork Family Farms cooperative has been a staple at Farm Aid since 1999.

8. Homegrown Village makes Farm Aid feel like a revival meeting.

Longtime fans of Farm Aid come for more than the music. The event is an impassioned gathering for activists involved in environmental and social justice issues, as well as farming. At Homegrown Village, an assembly of tents to the side of the amphitheater, more than 35 exhibitors discussed issues and offered farming skill sessions. Among the organizations on site this year: Food and Water Watch, the American Farmland Trust, the National Young Farmers Coalition and the Farmer Veteran Coalition.

9. The community of Farm Aid musicians is a powerful thing.

Performers at Farm Aid donate their time and travel expenses, playing this festival for love, not money. (That helps the organization earn the highest rating from charity watchdog groups.) The affection among the four core activists was clear, for example, when Young embraced Nelson onstage after a duet on “Are There Any More Real Cowboys.” Others, like Jamey Johnson, return to the Farm Aid bill each September to support its cause and share in the community. Nelson’s finale, which flowed from the gospel hymn “I’ll Fly Away” to Hank Williams’ “I Saw The Light,” drew everyone back to the stage for a spirited closing to this year’s show.

10. Willie is always on their minds.

Let a farmer have the last word. Rhonda Perry and her husband Roger Allison, hailing from Howard County, Mo., are co-founders of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center and Patchwork Family Farms, a farming cooperative that Farm Aid funding helped establish. “We’ve been involved with Farm Aid since 1985,” says Perry. She recalled when her husband and Mugar traveled by train from a rally by farmers in Ames, Iowa, to the first Farm Aid concert in Champaign, Ill. “It was one of the darkest hours that we had seen in generations of farming,” she recalls. “And as the train was going down the tracks, there were farmers on the side of the road, with flags and signs that said, `Willie is our hope.’

“To be here now, all these years later,” says Perry, “with all this energy around food and around people who care about how their food is raised, it’s incredible.”

#FarmAid2017 Fun Fact: 6,853 T-shirts sold

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Photo: Lise Metzger

6,853
Farm Aid T-shirts sold, made with organic cotton

You can get your own cool Farm Aid Shirt at:
www.FarmAid.org

Micah Nelson #FarmAid2017

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Janis Tillerson took these great photos. Thanks, Janis.

Dave Matthews Band, Farm Aid 1995 (Louisville, KY)

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Willie Nelson #FarmAid2017

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

photos: Janis Tillerson

For over 30 years, Willie Nelson has been working in support of family farmers. Learn about Farm Aid’s work, and how you can help:
www.FarmAid.org

W