Archive for the ‘Farm Aid’ Category

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Support Farm Aid and their investment in young future farmers

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017
Sankofa Community Garden. Photo: Sabine Carey
When I meet family farmers, I feel so much hope in our future. That’s why I’d like to introduce you to some young future farmers we met through our annual concert near Pittsburgh this year. They’re led by Mama Ayanna, as the young people in the garden call her. She’s changing her community and empowering teenagers through farming.
Ayanna Jones came back to her Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood after retiring from a successful career. Instead of taking it easy in retirement, she’s working hard to instill in youth what it means to do good work, to care for the earth, and to share your bounty with your neighbors. The end result is these young people feel valued—by their community and themselves.
Ayanna Jones. Photo: Sabine Carey
The young people—tilling the soil and harvesting healthy fruits and vegetables at Sankofa Community Gardenmay not all grow up to be farmers, but learning the values of agriculture will take them far in life. It’s already transforming their neighborhood. Ayanna says, “The garden enabled this community to blossom back to where it was when I was young. I grew up in this community and I’ve seen the best of the best here. I also saw the worst of the worst. Now I see the best of the best coming back.”
Family farmers make us incredibly proud. They are innovative and creative, and they deserve our support in growing a better kind of agriculture. With your help, we’re ensuring a future of good food for all of us and the values of family farm agriculture in the next generation.
As we gather with our families this holiday season, let’s give thanks for family farmers and the way they inspire hope in all of us.
Stay Strong and Positive,
Willie Nelson
Farm Aid President and Founder
PS: Your gift to Farm Aid is a way for you to guarantee that even in spite of all of the challenges we face, we have the strength of independent family farmers on the land, in rural and urban communities

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Today's #WednesdayWisdom comes from Ayanna Jones, who came back to her Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood after retiring from a successful career. Instead of taking it easy in retirement, she’s working hard to instill in youth what it means to do good wo

Thank you, Farmers #FarmAid

Monday, December 18th, 2017

The real MVPs of #FarmAid2017 ?

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