We congratulate our friends at Farm Aid on being honored at the Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert for their 30 years of hard work on behalf of family farmers and their pioneering efforts in musical activism and advocacy. Farm Aid’s newly released video commemorates an impeccable thirty-year track record of coming to the aid of farmers in need time and again. Whether singing out or speaking out, Farm Aid’s co-founder Willie Nelson has been a tireless champion for family farmers and has brought unity to a diverse and growing movement. Several farmers that we’ve had the privilege of working with at RAFI appear in the video, and it includes footage from Farm Aid 2014, which was held in Raleigh, North Carolina. The video features clips from our Executive Director Scott Marlow’s speech at last year’s Farm Aid press conference.
“What we see is that corporate domination and that corporate control is what is running farmers into the ground. And so when we move to a local system, what it does is it allows farmers to get out from underneath that system and to stand up on their own two feet and connect with the markets without them.” –– Scott Marlow, Executive Director, RAFI
“When a farmer in crisis calls the Farm Aid hotline, what they get is my phone number if they are from North Carolina and we send someone out, and they sit at the kitchen table and they figure out how to save the farm. But over time Farm Aid has come to not just talk about the crisis, but also to talk about the great things and the great resilience and creativity of farmers who are facing a deck stacked against them.” –– Scott Marlow, Executive Director, RAFI
Watch the video here: A look at Farm Aid’s thirty years of history working to keep family farmers on the land. Read Farm Aid’s press release about the Grammy Legacy Award win here. “Farm Aid supports a food system that is democratic, independent, competitive and locally based. This isn’t an exercise in nostalgia, it’s a commitment to a way of life. These are values worth fighting for.” –– Eric Schlosser Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid’s board of directors in 2001. Learn more about Farm Aid at: www.farmaid.org
RAFI is on the road to Farm Aid this week, though thankfully that road is much shorter this time around! This year, we’re excited to welcome Farm Aid to our home state of North Carolina for the first time in the concert’s 29-year history.
We would like to welcome Farm Aid to North Carolina, as we would welcome an old friend into our home. Farm Aid was created 29 years ago to respond to the needs of farm families facing the pain of losing their farms. Some of our staff members were there at that first concert, and ever since we and other organizations like us have worked closely with Farm Aid to serve farmers in need.
We were honored to host Farm Aid in our own backyard here in North Carolina for this year’s concert. By all accounts, Farm Aid 2014 was a smashing success, with a sold-out show, amazing performances, and important dialogues with farmers and agricultural organizations from across the country. We’re looking forward to building on the momentum created by the concert and we will be sharing more of our reflections on the events of the past week and plans for the future very soon. In the meantime, we’re excited to share some of the fantastic press and media coverage of Farm Aid 2014.