March 30th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Multiplatinum-selling country music star Dierks Bentley has joined the roster of celebrities who will perform at the Dow Live Earth Run for Water—a global series of 6K runs/walks that will raise money April 18 to combat the international water crisis.
As Live Earth notes:
“Water is a basic human right, and yet nearly 1 billion people on this planet don’t have access to it. Every day, thousands of women and children die due to lack of adequate drinking water. Eighty-eight percent of diarrheal cases worldwide are linked to inadequate and unsafe water. These cases result in 1.5 million annual deaths, mostly among children under the age of 5. In these areas, women and children are forced to walk 6 km (3.7 miles) each day to secure water that is likely unsuitable for drinking.”
“I’m looking forward to this event and helping to bring attention to the global water crisis,” says Bentley, who will perform at the Minneapolis event. His new CD, Up on the Ridge, will be released June 10.
“The runs/walks that are happening on the same day across the world are a great reminder that we are all connected and that we are all responsible for helping each other,” Bentley says. “I’ve always loved playing in Minneapolis—lots of country music fans there—and I’m excited to be part of this historic event.”
“There’s no question that the global water crisis is one of colossal proportions,” says activist Alexandra Cousteau, founder of Blue Legacy International. “But the difference between this crisis and so many others is that there are solutions now to reverse it—and these solutions begin when we, as a generation, stand up and take part during a tipping-point event like the Dow Live Earth Run for Water. On April 18, the world community needs to rally together, take ownership of the critical issue of water and empower each other to work daily toward ending this crisis.”
You can register for the walks/runs in your area by clicking here. If no event is planned for your area, you can organize your own community “Friends of Live Earth” event by clicking here.
Founded by Emmy-winning producer Kevin Wall, in partnership with former Vice President Al Gore, Live Earth was built upon the belief that entertainment has the power to transcend social and cultural barriers to move the world community to action.
Read More:Singer Dierks Bentley Joins Fight for Clean Water
March 28th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
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
Read More:Farm Aid Celebrates 25th Anniversary
October 5th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
During yesterday’s successful concert, Farm Aid leaders asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support measures that help family farmers thrive.
In the 1990s, broken farm policies and consolidated corporate food production forced nearly 80% of hog farmers out of business. According to Farm Aid, similar circumstances are causing dairy farmers to be paid less than half of what it costs to produce milk, and the United States risks losing thousands of dairy farmers this year alone.
At yesterday’s concert, Farm Aid representatives reiterated their request for the USDA to set a price for milk that covers the cost of production, which would guarantee dairy farmers a fair price that keeps them on their land. Farm Aid also asked the USDA to stop using taxpayer dollars to fund new and larger factory farms.
“Family farmers are the first rung of the economic ladder in this country,” said Farm Aid Founder and President Willie Nelson. “Against all odds, they have persevered and found ways to stay on their land, growing good food for all of us and creating strong communities. It’s time now for policy to rise to meet their needs with fair prices and support for their innovations.”
“We invite all Americans to join us in pressing for food production that protects our environment, our health and our economy,” added Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. “We are encouraged by the opportunity the new administration in Washington offers us all for making the needed changes.”
At the concert, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan joined farmers and food advocates in a conversation about the many ways family farmers are rebuilding local and regional food systems and reenergizing the economy.
“Farmers face overwhelming challenges as they work each day to put food on our tables, and Farm Aid’s ongoing efforts on behalf of family farmers have helped put a human face on this vocation,” she said. “At the same time, there is a bright future for small- and mid-sized producers because there is an agricultural renaissance taking place in America. More and more consumers are wanting to better connect with their producers, and USDA’s new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative helps to accomplish that goal.”
For Your Organic Bookshelf: Farm Aid: A Song for America
Photo: Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve Inc. 2009
Read More:Farm Aid Calls for Agriculture Policy Changes
October 4th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Farm Aid’s 2009 Concert begins at 5 p.m. today (ET), with sets from Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Gretchen Wilson and Jason Mraz, among other performers.
DIRECTV will exclusively broadcast the event live and in HD on The 101 Network. The company has also pledged to match customer donations up to $50,000 through Oct. 31.
The concert will be streamed live on Farm Aid’s website. To make a $5 donation that helps family farmers, text FARMER to 90999 during the concert. Click here to donate online. To follow the event on Twitter, click here.
Farm Aid has partnered with St. Louis businesses to help achieve zero waste goals during the concert and add to the established Verizon Wireless Amphitheater recycling program.
With the help of Replenishing the Earth and Route 66 Organics, all compostable waste will be turned into agricultural material. Volunteers will help concertgoers differentiate between landfill-bound trash, recyclables and compostables.
The energy used to produce the concert will be offset by purchases of renewable energy certificates through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Farm Aid’s concert greening initiatives are underwritten by Horizon Organic and Silk Soymilk.
Photo by Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve Inc. 2008; courtesy of Farm Aid
Read More:Support Family Farmers Tonight!
October 3rd, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
What unites former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and international artists like Fergie, Lily Allen, Duran Duran, Mark Ronson, Jamie Cullum, Marion Cotillard and Milla Jovovich?
A global musical petition that demands climate justice.
A new cover of Midnight Oil’s Beds Are Burning is designed to send a message to world leaders who will participate in the UN’s Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December.
Each free download will count as a signature on a “digital petition” for an ambitious, fair and international answer to the global-warming crisis. More than 1.3 million people have signed on thus far.
“Climate change is the greatest humanitarian challenge facing mankind today,” Annan says. “And it is a challenge that has a grave injustice at its heart. It is the major developed economies of the world which contribute the overwhelming majority of global greenhouse emissions. But it is the poorer and least developed nations that are hit hardest by its impact.
“By downloading ‘Beds Are Burning’ for free from major music download platforms on the Internet, people from around the world will be adding their names to this growing global petition—joining the campaign for climate justice and becoming a climate ally. This will be the first time ever that a musical petition has been created to demand decisive action from our world leaders.”
“Music is the universal language, capable of transcending cultures, generations, religions and races,” adds song producer Alexandre Sap. “A song or an artist truly has the power to translate a message or a movement more than any politician or world leader can on a global scale. This will create a voice for all of us who deserve to have a say leading up to Copenhagen in December. The goal is to draw enough attention to an event that will affect everyone’s lives on the planet.”
You may download the song from the Time for Climate Justice website, Amazon or iTunes.
For Your Organic Bookshelf: Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children and Our Grandchildren
Read More:Fergie, Lily Allen, Kofi Annan Demand Climate Justice