Support Family Farmers, Support Farm Aid

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.

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