Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to promote a strong and resilient system of agriculture. Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001. On September 17, 2016, Farm Aid hosts its annual concert in Bristow, VA. But Farm Aid is much more than a concert - since 1985, it's raised more than $50 million to support programs designed to keep family farmers on the land. Farm Aid accomplishes this mission by:
Promoting Food from Family Farms
To keep family farmers on the land, we have to increase the number of people buying their food. From Farm Aid's annual concert event that features family farm food and unites farmers, artists and concerned citizens, to its inspiring and informative TV, radio, mail and web campaigns, and through its HOMEGROWN.org online community, Farm Aid is building a powerful movement for family farm food.
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Growing the Good Food Movement
To help family farmers thrive, we have to create and expand markets for them, giving more people the opportunity to access family farm food. Farm Aid fosters connections between farmers and eaters 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 settings.
Helping Farmers Thrive
Since 1985, Farm Aid has answered 1-800-FARM-AID to provide immediate and effective support services to farm families in crisis. Now Farm Aid's online Farmer Resource Network connects farmers to an extensive network of more than 700 organizations across the country that help farmers find the resources they need to access new markets, transition to more sustainable and profitable farming practices, and survive natural disasters. Farm Aid makes grants to farm and rural service organizations to strengthen this network.
Taking Action to Change the System
Farm Aid works with and provides grants to local, regional and national organizations to promote fair farm policies and grassroots organizing campaigns designed to defend and bolster family farm-centered agriculture. Farm Aid has worked side-by-side with farmers to protest factory farms and inform farmers and eaters about issues like genetically modified food and growth hormones. By strengthening the voices of family farmers, Farm Aid stands up for the people upon whom we all depend - the family farmers who work the land.
With music as its inspiration and farmers as its heroes, Farm Aid envisions a transformed America in which family farmers and eaters are partners in a thriving farm and food system that benefits all.