At a time of uncertainty for family farmers and the nation, Farm Aid used its annual benefit concert during the weekend to issue an urgent call for eaters, farmers, businesses and politicians to work together to grow the Good Food Movement.
Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews, joined by nearly a dozen artists, hundreds of family farmers and advocates, and more than 30,000 fans at Hersheypark Stadium, celebrated the force of the Good Food Movement to create changes in the food system that protect our struggling economy, our fragile environment, and our declining health. Farm Aid organizers pointed to Pennsylvania’s farmers as models for this movement, leading the nation in local, organic and sustainable food production.
“We the people are building this Good Food Movement from the ground up,” said Nelson, president and founder of Farm Aid. “Farmers are doing the hard work on their farms. People are demanding this food. We’re not going to stop until every family farmer thrives and everyone has access to good food from family farms!”
Brian Snyder, long-time friend of Farm Aid and executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, moderated a discussion about what’s at stake in the Good Food Movement and strategies for building momentum. Tom and Donna Perry of Perrydell Farm, a self-sufficient dairy farm in York, Pa., and Jenn Halpin, farm director of the Dickinson Farm at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., joined Nelson, Mellencamp, Young and Matthews, along with Jack Johnson and Farm Aid executive director Carolyn Mugar for the conversation.
“Extreme weather jeopardizes farmers and our food supply. Rural economies that are the backbone of the country are fragile. Our health is being threatened by a food system driven by corporate interests. We don’t have a lot of time,” said executive director Carolyn Mugar. “Now, more than ever before, we must grow a better food and farming system.”
Farm Aid 2012 featured performances by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, as well as Jack Johnson, Kenny Chesney, Jamey Johnson, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, ALO, Pegi Young & The Survivors, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Dale Watson.
Concertgoers had the opportunity to experience local flavor at Farm Aid 2012. The concert event offered family farm-identified, local, and organic foods with Farm Aid’s signature HOMEGROWN Concessions. Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village featured hands-on activities that provided a chance to meet farmers and dig into the Good Food Movement by learning about the ways family farmers are enriching our soil, protecting our water, growing alternative fuels, and bringing us good food for good health.
Farm Aid 2012 was sponsored by Giant Food Stores, Anvil Knitwear, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Horizon Organic, Weis Markets, Organic Valley, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, Silk Soymilk, Amy’s Kitchen, Bell & Evans Air Chilled, Martin Guitar, Messina Wildlife PLOTSAVER and UNFI Foundation.
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. Since 1985, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $40 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.
Source: PR Newswire