Thursday, September 24, 2009

Farm Aid

By Amy Hunter and Dav Timm

Back in 1985, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young put their heads together in an effort to raise awareness about the decline of family farms and to raise funds for the affected families. They played the first ever Farm Aid Concert that year, and since then the Farm Aid organization has been hosting concerts and raising money to support family farms.

This year marks the 24th year of Farm Aid and, to date, the non-profit organization has raised $35 million. Farm Aid accomplishes its mission by promoting food from family farms, growing the Good Food Movement, helping farms thrive, and taking action to change the system. According to the Farm Aid website, “Farm Aid works with and provides grants to local, regional and national organizations to promote fair farm policies and grassroots organizing campaigns to defend and bolster family farm centered agriculture. By strengthening the voices of family farmers themselves, Farm Aid stands up for the most resourceful, heroic Americans–the family farmers who work the land.”

On Sunday, October 4, Farm Aid will hold this year’s concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis. If your support of family farming isn’t enough incentive to attend this show, consider the lineup, which promises performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Wilco, Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, Jamey Johnson, and Phosphorescent. Ticket prices range from $39 for lawn admission to $44, $54, and $79 for seats, and $169 for premium seats. If you’ve never been to the Verizon Amphitheater, we highly recommend buying a lawn ticket for this event because it’s a fair price for what’s sure to be a killer show. The doors open at 12 noon on the 4th, so if you attend, plan on arriving early so you won’t miss anything.

This concert is certainly a must-see, since it’s uncommon to have so many huge acts performing together for a common cause. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of classic rock, folk, or jam bands, Farm Aid is where it’s at. Moreover, the proceeds benefit a worthy cause. If you plan on going, buy your tickets soon since such a legendary concert is likely to sell out.

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