Somerville, MA-based Farm Aid is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews remain committed to creating a family farm-centered U.S. food system.
The nonprofit organization is now planning its annual concert events, which will showcase the positive, sustainable future that family farmers are growing through their hard work every day. Across the country, these farmers are rebuilding local and regional food systems and reenergizing the economy.
“In 1985, we started out to save the family farmer,” Nelson says. “Now, it looks like the family farmer is going to save us. As our nation continues to endure an historic economic downturn, America’s family farmers offer us much hope.”
The economic and employment crisis that so many Americans face today mirrors what family farmers endured during the mid-1980s, when they found themselves threatened with foreclosures, bankruptcy and eviction. Hundreds of thousands of farms were lost. In response, the first Farm Aid concert was held in 1985; since then, the organization has been a relentless champion for family farmers.
Since its inception, Farm Aid has raised more than $36 million to support programs that keep family farmers on their land, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.
We’ll let you know about the concert date and talent lineup as soon as info becomes available.
Photo: Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve Inc., 2009