Archive for the ‘Farm Aid’ Category

Farm Aid IV at the Hoosier Dome (April 7, 1990) (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Saturday, April 7th, 2018


[Thanks to Phil Weisman for this cool Heartland Newspaper, with Farm Aid IV headlines.]

Willie Nelson will be joined by over 30 performers and entertainers for Farm Aid IV at the Hoosier Dome on April 7.  Their efforts will address the needs of the American farm family.

Willie Nelson, Amos Lee, Mickey Raphael, “El Camino”

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

Stop Big Ag from getting bigger

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

In the next few months, The United States Department of Justice will decide whether to allow the creation of a new agri-business behemoth by letting Bayer acquire Monsanto. If approved, the new company would be the world’s largest vegetable seed company, largest cottonseed company, largest manufacturer and seller of herbicides, and the largest owner of GMO patents. This means company-controlled data and diminished seed quality & choice!

Prices farmers pay will go up + prices eaters pay will go up.

Take action right now! Tell the DOJ to oppose the Bayer-Monsanto power grab. #CorporateConcentration #CorporateControlOfOurFood #StopTheMerger

“This Land is Your Land” — Finale, Farm Aid 1987

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

“We close the show with Woody Guthrie’s love song to America.”
Farm Aid 1987

An Evening With Farm Aid in Luck, Texas (March 14, 2018)

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Farm Aid is lucky to have been invited by Willie and Annie Nelson to host an event at their ranch outside of Austin, Texas.

photo: Suzanne Cordeiro

An Evening with Farm Aid at Luck ,/em. paid tribute to Luck, a fictional western town on Willie’s ranch, and raised funds to support Farm Aid’s work for family farmers. Luck was constructed in the mid-1980s as a set for the film adaptation of Willie’s 1975 album The Red Headed Stranger, and has been given new life in recent years, emerging as the site of the Luck Reunion, an incredible music festival that takes place each March.

photo: Rett Rogers

Willie’s rescued horses grazed in the field behind the stage as Lukas and company ripped through their hits. As the sun set, Willie and Annie and our guests gathered under a large tent in the center of Luck. The tables were set beautifully, designed by our friends at Patina Green with hand-drawn table runners by artist Katherine Keller featuring vegetables, farm animals and inspiring messages about food and farming, and local, farm-fresh flower bouquets from Prickly Pair Farms.

Farm Aid’s Carolyn Mugar welcomed guests and gave thanks for the farmers who raised the food we would enjoy. Carolyn introduced honored guest Bill Witliff, the Austin filmmaker who directed The Red Headed Stranger and wrote and directed the 1984 film Country, which compellingly told the story of the 1980s Farm Crisis that inspired Farm Aid. Carolyn also introduced Austin’s Jim Hightower, former Texas agriculture commissioner, author, activist and storyteller, who shared his thoughts about Farm Aid with the crowd of nearly 250. Everyone gathered joined Hightower in making a toast to Willie for stepping up for family farmers—in 1985 and right up to today.

Then we ate the most creative meal, sourced from local farmers, of course. Our team of chefs inspired raucous dinner conversation with an incredible dinner delivered in compostable takeout boxes that encouraged sharing and passing. During dinner, two guitars, donated by Gibson and Epiphone and autographed by Willie Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, were auctioned, with the proceeds supporting the work of Farm Aid to keep family farmers thriving.

Filmmaker Bill Witliff chats with Willie and Annie Nelson before dinner. Photo by Rett Rogers.

After dinner, we moved back to the music tent, picking up our carrot cake ice cream sandwich dessert along the way. Next up: a set from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats before the main event: Willie Nelson & Family. As always, Willie was joined by his sons Micah and Lukas Nelson, and Nathaniel Rateliff joined in for some songs, too!

We are so grateful to the support of our hosts: Willie and Annie Nelson; our artists: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and Willie Nelson & Family; our all-around-everything team from Patina Green Home & Market, led by Kaci Lyford; our Texas chefs: Robert Lyford of Patina Green, Ben Runkel of Salt & Time, Diego Galicia & Rico Torres of Mixtli, Dan Casey of Royal Fig Catering and Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar; our generous event supporters: Jennie Garlington, Bonterra Organic Vineyards, BMI, New Belgium Brewing and Willie’s Reserve; our product donors: Farmhouse Delivery, Still Austin, Black Eyed Distilling, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Jester King Brewery and Royal Fig Catering; our photographers: Suzanne Cordeiro and Rett Rogers; and everyone who helped make An Evening with Farm Aid in Luck possible. Good food from family farmers, good music, and good friendship – it’s what it’s all about. As Willie says, “You’re either in Luck or you’re outta Luck.” We are so glad Farm Aid was in Luck last week.

We hope to see you at a future Farm Aid event! Until then, we invite you to learn more about and support our work to keep family farmers on the land and thriving.

Keep America Growing: Support Farm Aid, Support Family Farmers

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Evening With Farm Aid at Luck, Texas (3/14/2018)

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Thanks to Janis Tillerson for her great photos from the special dinner sponsored by Farm Aid, in Luck, Texas before the musical Luck Reunion the following day. Guests were treated to a delicious real food dinner, followed by performances by Willie Nelson and Family and Nathaniel Rateliff. The dinner was a benefit for Farm Aid, and you can learn about their good work at:

Willie Nelson and Tom Petty, Farm Aid 1985

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

© Charlyn Zlotnik, 1985

Willie Nelson and Tom Petty at the first Farm Aid on September 25, 1985 in Champaign, IL.

Farm Aid V (March 14, 1992) (Irving, Texas)

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

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Thanks to Janis Tillerson, for sharing a photo of her ticket from Farm Aid V , Irving, TX, March 14, 1992.

An Evening with Farm Aid Tonight (Luck, TX)

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

The evening kicks off with cocktails and a locally-sourced, farm-to-table dinner prepared by Texas chefs Robert Lyford and Ben Runkle before lively sets from Willie Nelson & Family, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.

Farm to TV — Best of Farm Aid 2017 on AXS TV Sunday (March 18, 2017)

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Farm to TV.

Watch the Best Of @FarmAid ’17 this Sunday!

— AXS TV Concerts (@AXSTVConcerts)

An Evening with Farm Aid at Luck Reunion in Austin (March 14, 2018)

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Join Farm Aid and Luck Reunion for an evening under the stars benefitting American Farmers.
This year Luck Reunion has invited Farm Aid to join us on the ranch in hosting their very own “An Evening with Farm Aid” event.

Tickets are on sale at 12pm CST TODAY

To Purchase your ticket

A purchase of your ticket directly goes to Farm Aid and unlocks a secret ticket code to purchase a ticket to the 2018 Luck Reunion.

The evening kicks off with cocktails and a locally-sourced, farm-to-table dinner prepared by Texas chefs Robert Lyford and Ben Runkle before lively sets from Willie Nelson & Family, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. This is a special event you won’t want to miss!

An Evening with Farm Aid in Luck is the kickoff to the annual Luck Reunion which will take place the following day, March 15, in Luck, TX. By purchasing a dinner seat, you will unlock the exclusive opportunity to buy a ticket to the Luck Reunion–for which tickets are notoriously hard to come by.  To learn more about the Luck Reunion, please visit

“I’ve Always Been Crazy” — The Highwaymen, Farm Aid 1993

Monday, March 5th, 2018

The Highwaymen perform “I’ve Always Been Crazy” at Farm Aid VI in Ames, Iowa on April 24, 1993.

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:

Farm Aid’s performances are donated by the artists in order to raise funds and raise awareness for family farmers. They’ve raised their voices to help — what can you do?

The Farm Bill, and Trade: Vital Issues for Farmers #FarmAid

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Two vital issues for farmers are trade and the Farm Bill. In his first year, President Trump hasn’t spent much time talking about either. Farmers have been left wanting to hear more… more acknowledgement of the importance of these issues, more policy details, and more promises to fight for family farm agriculture.
Our second post in a series of three on the 2018 State of the Family Farm in the United States dives into how these two issues are faring under the Trump Administration.

Our food belongs in the hands of many

Our previous post about President Trump’s impact on farm policy covered some of the policies his administration has enacted that he’s touted as good for family farmers. This post dives into two issues that are important for family farmers: trade and the Farm Bill. Unfortunately, when President Trump spoke before an audience of farmers recently, he didn’t spend much time talking about these vitally important issues. The President also failed to mention the impacts of trade on farmers or the Farm Bill in his State of the Union address. Farmers have been left wanting to hear more… more acknowledgement of the importance of these issues, more policy details, and more promises to fight for family farm agriculture.


Even before his first day in office, President Trump created uncertainty in the markets with his persistent calls to get rid of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, a deal he has called the “worst trade deal in the history of the world.” As president, Trump began to call instead for a renegotiation of the 1994 deal. But throughout the process Trump has repeatedly expressed doubt that a renegotiation could work, saying as recently as October that if it can’t be renegotiated, “it’ll be terminated and it will be fine.” Negotiation teams have now completed their sixth round of talks and still no resolution is in sight.

At the January 8 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention, Trump vowed he’d fight for farmers in a renegotiated NAFTA, saying, “We are going to make it fair for you people again.” And that’s all he said.

There is no question that family farmers want trade policies that are fair – they’ve been calling for that for decades as trade deal after trade deal has increased corporate power in our farm and food system. Family farmers would like trade agreements, for instance, to take into consideration labor, health and environmental concerns, and they’d like them to focus less on the profit of big business. They feel American trade agreements should strengthen the U.S. and our trading partners. Specifically, family farm organizations have called for restoration of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for meat products; to prevent the “dumping” of cheap food products in other countries, which undercuts those countries’ own farmers; and for labor protections for farmworkers.

In any trade negotiation, family farmers, as some of the people most impacted by trade deals, should be at the table to share their experience and help shape the deal.

A renegotiation of NAFTA, then, and a new perspective on global trade deals in general, could be a very positive thing for family farmers. But the way the renegotiation of NAFTA has proceeded—shrouded in secrecy and with very little feedback on progress—is not giving farmers hope that the end result will be an improvement. In any trade negotiation, family farmers, as some of the people most impacted by trade deals, should be at the table to share their experience and help shape the deal.

In the meantime, Trump’s strategy, or lack thereof, has put America’s farm exports at risk. That’s critical because 1/5th of U.S. agricultural production goes on the export market. American farmers are able to grow more food than the United States needs to feed ourselves, so we need export markets—if they go away, the farm economy will take an even deeper dive. At the Farm Bureau meeting and in his State of the Union, Trump made no reference to the turmoil his flip-flopping on trade has created for family farmers and the agricultural economy. The mixed messages have already damaged exports for family farmers, and the resulting glut of grains has dropped the price of corn and soy even lower. Our NAFTA trade partners, Canada and Mexico, have increased their trade globally with China, South America and Europe. They’ve formed new trade agreements that could damage the standing of U.S. farm imports in Canada and Mexico, and leave American farmers in the lurch.

Learn More


Willie Nelson, “Valentine” (Farm Aid 1993)

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018