Archive for the ‘Farm Aid’ Category

Farm Aid Heroes

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

photo:  Jacqueline Larma

Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 1985

Monday, June 4th, 2018

photo: Paul Natkin

Willie Nelson, Farm Aid
Memorial Stadium, University of Illinois
Champaign, Illinois
September 22, 1985t Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois – Champaign for the first Farm Aid Concert in Champaign, Illinois, September 22, 1985.t Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois – Champaign for the first Farm Aid Concert in Champaign, Illinois, September 22, 1985.

“Take your kids to a farm” — Willie Nelson

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Mickey Raphael talks about touring with Highwaymen “It was like Mount Rushmore on Stage” (interview by Alison Richter)

Sunday, May 20th, 2018
by:   Alison Richter

Mickey Raphael, Nelson’s harmonica player since 1973, remembers when he first heard about plans to make an album, following that Christmas concert. “Chips Moman was Willie’s producer at the time,” he says.

“I was driving Chips and Willie’s manager, Mark Rothbaum, around L.A. in my Acura Legend. We were packed into this two-door car, going to dinner, and they were talking about the four guys making this record. They were going to pitch the idea to Willie, and I’m going, ‘Wishful thinking. This will never happen. You’ll never get the four guys to agree to this. I hope you can pull it off.’ Apparently, they got Willie’s blessing, because pretty soon we were going to Nashville to record.”


Read Alison Richter’s entire, great interview with Mickey, and see more pictures and videos here.

Willie Nelson and Neil Young, Farm Aid 2003

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Farm to Table Dinner with Lukas Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff and support Farm Aid in Ralleigh

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

The 2018 Farm Bill effects us all

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

by:  jimmy Dyer

>Farm Aid

Here comes the 2018 Farm Bill

The Farm Bill is one of the most influential pieces of legislation for farmers, rural residents and all of us who eat. The 2014 version was enormous–coming in at 959 pages, with a price tag of $956.4 billion over a decade. The upcoming 2018 Farm Bill will determine the fate of farm subsidies, public nutrition, land stewardship, agricultural research, international food aid, export promotion, and many other agricultural programs.

Learn how our partners, like the National Young Farmers Coalition, Center for Rural Affairs, Kansas Farmers Union and Illinois Stewardship Alliance, are advocating for change and working to make sure that the 2018 Farm Bill does not leave out the needs of family farmers.

And, stayed tuned for more information on the upcoming Farm Bill and actions you can take!

This day in Willie Nelson history, Farm Aid IV (April 24, 1993)

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Farm Aid VI
April 24, 1993 – Ames, Iowa

All of America watched as the Flood of ’93 left thousands of Midwest families homeless. Heavy rains caused the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to rise up and overflow their banks, swallowing entire towns along the way. Eight million acres of crops were destroyed and 20 million acres were damaged. With their backs already against the wall due to heavy debt and low farm prices, Midwest family farmers had few resources left to deal with the effects of the flooding. In response to the flood, Farm Aid created the Family Farm Disaster Fund to support organizations that worked directly with farm families stricken by the flood. When farmers needed help to avoid foreclosure due to losses from the flood, Farm Aid-funded groups were there to help them save their farms. Farm Aid VI, held in Ames, Iowa on April 24, featured performances by Bruce Hornsby, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr, Marty Stuart, Martina McBride, the Highwaymen, and Dwight Yoakam.

Kimmie Rhodes talks about kindness of Willie Nelson in new book, “Radio Dreams”

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
by: David Sinclair

Talking as if they were sitting round a campfire rather than on the stage of a small west London hall, on Friday, 20 April, the Texan songbird Kimmie Rhodes and the English DJ “Whispering” Bob Harris conjured memories of a golden era of country music. It was the first of a string of low-key Q&A dates to promote Radio Dreams, a new book written by Rhodes and her husband, the late Joe Gracey.

Back in the day, Rhodes and Gracey were quite the double act. She was raised in Lubbock, where her carnival-worker dad taught her to sing at the age of six. She became a platinum-selling songwriter, recording artist and, later, playwright, theatrical actor and director. Gracey began a broadcasting career at a radio station in Fort Worth while still a teenager and became an award-winning DJ, songwriter and, later, producer who championed the country scene in Austin. Radio Dreams chronicles their adventures with the Texan “outlaws” who rejuvenated country music in the 70s: Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Doug Sahm, Kris Kristofferson and, above all, Willie Nelson.

At Bush Hall, Harris asked the questions in his affectionate, soft-spoken manner, and Rhodes reminisced about her life and times. She recalled her first meeting with Nelson at his privately-owned golf course and recording studio, a facility known as the Cut-N-Putt.  She walked on to the green, just as he played a perfect drive. “He turned around. He was like a king in his court. And here I am, I haven’t even made my first record. And he looks right at me with those dark, black eyes and he says, ‘How long have you been singing? Do you write?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, why don’t you come out here and make a record?’ We had no money and no band, but suddenly I had Willie Nelson’s studio and I made my first record out there.”

In between the stories, Rhodes sang and strummed a selection of songs as they came up in the conversation, among them ‘We Must Believe In Magic’ (an inspirational favourite by Crystal Gayle), ‘West Texas Heaven’ (the title track of Rhodes’ 1996 album), ‘Just One Love’ (the song she performed with Nelson at Farm Aid in 1990), ‘Love Me Like A Song (the title track of her 2002 album), ‘Raining In My Heart’ (by another Lubbock native, Buddy Holly) and a finale of Ben E King’s evergreen ‘Stand By Me’. Rhodes was accompanied by her son Gabe Rhodes, a distinguished country music producer himself, who played acoustic guitar with a sensationally precise, twanging touch. And, on some numbers, they were joined by the singer (and support act) Robert Vincent.

It was an evening of warmth, wisdom and occasional hilarity. Among the pearls Rhodes shared were the words of Cowboy Jack Clement, who told her: “We’re in the fun business, and if we’re not having fun, we’re not doing our job.” As far as this show was concerned, job done.

Future UK Q&A events surrounding the publication of Radio Dreams are:

24 April: Cornerstone, Didcot, England (Kimmie Rhodes and Bob Harris)
26 April: Night People, Manchester, England (Kimmie Rhodes and guests)
4 May: Venue Theatre, Ratoath, County Meath, Ireland (Kimmie Rhodes and Sandy Harsh)
5 May: Waterfront, Belfast, Ireland (Kimmie Rhodes and Ralph McLean)

Willie Nelson and Mary Pat Davis, “Walking After Midnight” (Farm Aid VI) (1993)

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Willie Nelson and Mary Pat Davis perform “Walkin’ After Midnight” originally by Patsy Cline at Farm Aid VI in Ames, Iowa, on April 24, 1993.

Thank you, Willie Nelson

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Just when you think it’s over, it’s only begun.

A salute for all the help you’ve given to America’s family farmers.

— Mark Rothbaum
Gay Harrah
Lisa Reiss


Saturday, April 14th, 2018

Do you have any resolutions for 2018? With this #WednesdayWisdom from @willienelsonofficial, may we suggest visiting a farm?

“It’s not one artist – it’s everybody together…” — Neil Young

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Forbes recently asked artists like Melissa Etheridge, Michael Stipe, and Carlos Santana what the greatest protest song is. Here is @neilyoung’s response, which reminds us of the spirit behind Farm Aid. [This photo is from Farm Aid 25 in Milwaukee.] #Thurs

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Help keep family farmers on their land

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

A young farmer holds back tears as his entire herd of dairy cows are auctioned off.

A fourth-generation farmer realizes the only choice he has is to sell the family land, while his children grieve that they’ll never go back home to the farm.

A century-old dairy farm is forced to transition to growing vegetables because the price of milk has been so low for so long. Now they struggle to hang on until spring when they’ll finally have a crop to sell.

A young couple decides to give up the dream of their own farm because even though they work their fingers to the bone, they still can’t make the numbers work.

We hear stories like these every day on our hotline, 1-800-FARM-AID. To us, they’re not just stories, not just numbers. They are the terrible, day-to-day realities of farm families as they struggle to get by with farm income that has been cut in half over the last five years. In some cases, especially for dairy farmers, there’s no income at all because prices are so low and production costs so high. Farmers are dedicated and innovative, but even they can’t perform the kind of magic that’s needed to turn low prices and high costs into a positive number that sustains the farm and their family.

 At Farm Aid, we answer every hotline call and do the best we can to connect farmers to useful resources. But as the farm economy continues to falter, the number of farmer calls and the complexity of their situations keeps escalating.

In 2017, Farm Aid tripled our emergency grants to farmers. In 2018, we’re on track to triple that number again.

Emergency grants help farmers keep the heat on, put food in the pantry, and pay medical bills that threaten to drive farm families into endless debt. We hear directly from farmers that emergency grants are a lifeline when all else seems lost. Your support ensures that Farm Aid can provide this lifeline to farm families who turn to us in their time of need.  


Farming is different from other jobs. It’s a livelihood, but it’s also a way of life, often passed down for generations. When prices are low, it’s not easy for farmers to make quick changes or to find a new job. And the threat of losing the farm can take a heavy toll—on finances and the farmers themselves. Farmers shouldn’t have to go it alone. Farmers need your support today to stay on the land. Your donation makes certain that Farm Aid can answer the call for each farmer and work on the overarching issues that put farmers in these precarious situations.


Joe Schroeder, Farm Advocate

P.S.: Every time we lose a family farmer, we lose a caretaker of our water and soil, and we run the risk of losing that land forever. Thanks for joining me to fight for every family farmer.