October 2 marks the 25th year of the Farm Aid concert to preserve family farms and promote humane treatment for farm animals.
Musicians Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 and Dave Matthews joined the Board of Directors in 2001.
The goal of Farm Aid is to “build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America.” Farm Aid members accomplish this goal by hosting an annual concert to inspire people to “chose family-farmed food.”
The organization has raised more than $37 million, since 1985.
How Farm Aid Helps Farmers
- Farm Aid networks with a network of 460 family farm organizations that help farmers transition to sustainable farming practices.
- The organization distributes grants to teach family farmers techniques about profitable farming practices.
- Farm Aid awards emergency funds to keep farmers on their land.
- Farm Aid fights against factory farms and genetically modified foods.
- The organization promotes the Good Food Movement that advocates for local, organic and humanely raised food.
The 25th anniversary concert will feature 11 acts which include the original artists plus, Tim Reynolds, Kenny Chesney, Norah Jones, Jason Mraz, Jeff Tweedy, Jamey Johnson, Band of Horses, The BoDeans, Amos Lee, Robert Francis, Lukas Nelson, The Blackwood Quartet and Randy Rogers Band. Tavis Smiley will host the event.
For those who cannot attend the Milwaukee, WI concert, it can be heard on the Willie Nelson channel of Sirius radio and viewed on DirectTV.
Since the start of Farm Aid and the Good Food Movement, Wisconsin has grown to be the nation’s leader in providing fresh locally grown produce to cities and second in the country for its number of organic and grass-based dairy farms.
You can read more about Farm Aid and their year-round work by checking out a story by Care2 writer Judi Gerber titled, “Why Farm Aid Still Matters.”
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