HARTFORD, Conn., September 25, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Farm Aid 2021 marked the organization’s return to today’s live festival that highlighted farmers facing economic, operational and political challenges and determined to create a better farming and food system – one that embraces diversity and our natural resources preserve and nourish future generations.
“So much has changed since we last met at Farm Aid in 2019,” said the President and Founder of Farm Aid Willie Nelson. “We have all seen the pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but our family farmers have endured it, growing the food we needed and offering solutions that are so important to our country.”
At a virtual town hall meeting on Friday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Wilsack, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Tina Smith (D-MN), the Agriculture Commissioners of Connecticut, Massachusetts and new York, along with farmers, partners and other policy makers, opened the festival weekend with a solid discussion on key issues such as corporate concentration and consolidation, racial justice, debt relief and climate change.
Nelson was joined by fellow board members on the Farm Aid stage on Saturday John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo price, along with Tyler kids, Nathaniel Rateliff & The night sweats, Bettye LaVette, Luke Nelson & Promise of the real, Jamey Johnson, Allison Russell, Particle child, Ian Mellencamp, the Wisdom Indian Dancers and the Horse Hill Singers for donating their time and talent to the nearly 10-hour show. On the video screens, festival goers were introduced to farmers from the northeast and beyond, representing the diverse people and practices that make up a healthy, sustainable agricultural system. Featured farmers include immigrants finding innovative ways to gain community access to land and agriculture; Producers who use regenerative methods to build soil and teach new generations to enjoy farming; and entrepreneurs creating new ways to build local and regional food systems.
Throughout the day, artists and farmers gathered on the FarmYard stage to discuss challenges and opportunities in agriculture, including the loss of Black Land, climate change and the solutions family farmers bring to the table, and everyday reality of being a farmer in an increasingly consolidated agri-food system. Farm Aid reiterated its solidarity with BIPOC farmers who advocate fairness across the system and highlighted innovative advances in agriculture in the Northeast, including local and regional food systems, organic production and regenerative farming methods that mitigate and reduce climate change Build up soil.
Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village provided hands-on activities to celebrate the culture of agriculture and give festival goers the chance to meet farmers face-to-face and learn how they enrich our soil, protect our water, boost our economy and make us good food bring to good health. Local and national organizations took part, and attendees learned how to use food systems in The United States to avoid avoidable food waste; discovered Connecticut local farms, markets and agricultural products; and tested their knowledge of food and farms in a game, learning about the dangers of business consolidation.
Farm Aids protected HOMEGROWN Concessions® offers food made with ingredients from family farmers who use ecological practices and receive a fair price for their products. Legends Hospitality, local community vendors, and Farm Aid’s multi-year food suppliers served menus with presentations Connecticut and the excellent farms in the region. Food choices included local fish and chips, crispy oyster tostadas, hot dogs and sausages from Meatworks in Southern New England, roasted Brussels sprouts, beet sandwiches, portobello burgers, grass-fed beef burgers, stuffed sweet potatoes with local smoked beef brisket, organic pretzels -, bean and green shells, plank fries and chicken tender with homemade sauces and much more. Vendors brought in local flavors including the Soul de Cuba Café, Whey Station, Villa of Lebanon, DORO Restaurant Group, Maple Valley Creamery, and Ben & Jerry’s. Multi-year Farm Aid providers include Corndog, Inc., Patchwork Family Farms, and Lone Cedar Café.
Farm Aid 2021 sponsors included DISH Network, ButcherBox, Porter-Cable, Tractor Supply Foundation, Spindrift, WhistlePig Whiskey, McManis Family Vineyards, Lundberg Family Farms, and Maestro.
Farm Aid 2021 will be broadcast on FarmAid.org and Circle Network as well as SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse (Channel 59) and Dave Matthews Band Radio (Channel 30) on SiriusXM radios and in the SXM app.
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family-oriented farming system in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo price Hold an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose food on the family farm. For more than 35 years, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, Farm Aid has more than $ 60 million Support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food movement, take action to change the prevailing system of industrial agriculture, and promote food from family farms.
SOURCE Farm Aid