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Farm Aid Supports Small Farms

Posted: August 15, 2018

Farm Aid kicks off on Saturday, September 22nd at XFINITY Theater in Hartford Connecticut, a sold-out concert fundraiser to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on the land.

Are you ready to rock out for a good cause?  Farm Aid kicks off on Saturday, September 22nd at XFINITY Theater in Hartford Connecticut, a sold-out concert fundraiser to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on the land.  More than just a musical event, Farm Aid is a nonprofit, social action and advocacy platform.  Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized and held the first show in 1985 with Dave Matthews joining the Board of Directors in 2001.  Collectively, they have raised more than $53 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. 

Farm Aid also organizes farmers, advocates for their needs and provides financial support to ensure they thrive.  Through its grant making programs, funds are circulated back to local communities.  Farmers can apply for funding for their farms, for policy and advocacy change or for social action.  The organization fosters connections between farmers and consumers by growing and strengthening local and regional markets and working to get family farm food in urban neighborhoods, grocery stores, restaurants, schools and other public institutions.  Its Action Center also urges legislators to pass fair farm policies while mobilizing grassroots organizing campaigns designed to defend and bolster family farm-centered agriculture.  Farm Aid has worked side-by-side farmers to protest factory farms and inform farmers and consumers about issues like genetically modified food and growth hormones.

Another need in our farming communities is the recognition of best practices, and Farm Aid serves as a hub of innovation.  It shines a spotlight on Farmer Heroes raising the visibility of innovative approaches to growing and raising good food.  They’ve profiled more than 150 family farmers from all over the country.  Here in Pennsylvania, we can especially be proud of one of our own in Butler County—Art King, who was nominated for his contributions to the Pittsburgh Food Bank.  So, whether you were fortunate to purchase tickets in the four hours before it sold out or not, consider all the reasons Farm Aid is more than a concert and nominate a local farm hero, apply for a grant, advocate for your local food system and build a connection with your neighbor, because our country’s interconnected web of family farms and capacity to grow our healthy food is at stake.