HARTFORD, Connecticut., September 25, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Farm Aid 2021 marked the organization’s return to a live festival today, highlighting farmers who have stood up to economic, operational and political challenges and are determined to create a better farming system and food – a system that embraces diversity, preserves our natural resources and nurtures future generations.
“So much has changed since our last meeting at Farm Aid in 2019,” said Farm Aid President and Founder Willie nelson. “We have all seen the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, but our family farmers endured, growing the food we needed and providing solutions so essential to our country. ”
In a virtual town hall on Friday, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom vilsack, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Tina smith (D-MN), the agricultural commissioners of Connecticut, Massachusetts and new York, along with farmers, partners and other policymakers, kicked off the festival weekend with a lively discussion on fundamental issues, including business concentration and consolidation, racial equity, debt relief. debt and climate change.
Nelson was joined on the Farm Aid stage on Saturday by other board members Jean Mellencamp, Dave matthews and Margo Price, in the same way Tyler childers, Nathaniel Rateliff & night sweats, Bettye Lavette, Lukas nelson & Promise of the Real, Jamey johnson, Allison russell, Particle Kid, Ian mellencamp, the Wisdom Indian Dancers and the Horse Hill Singers, who donated their time and talents for the nearly 10 hour show. On video screens, festival-goers were introduced to farmers in the Northeast and beyond who represent the diverse people and practices that make up a healthy and sustainable farming system. Featured farmers include immigrants who find innovative ways to access land and cultivate in community with each other; producers using regenerative practices to build the soil and teach new generations to find pleasure in working the land; and entrepreneurs creating new avenues for building 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 muck, climate change and the solutions that family farmers bring to the table, and the everyday realities of being a farmer in an increasingly consolidated agriculture and food system. Farm Aid reaffirmed its solidarity with BIPOC farmers campaigning for equity across the system and highlighted innovative advances in agriculture in the North East, including local and regional food systems, organic production and regenerative farming methods that mitigate climate change and build the soil.
Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village featured hands-on activities to celebrate the culture of agriculture and give festival-goers the opportunity to meet farmers in person and learn how they enrich our soil, protect our water, grow our economy and provide us with good food for good health. Local and national organizations participated and participants learned how to glean and relocate food systems in United States prevent avoidable food waste; discovered Connecticut local farms, markets and agricultural products; and tested their food and farming knowledge in a game, while learning the dangers of business consolidation.
Farm Aid’s trademark HOMEGROWN Concessions® featured foods with ingredients produced by family farmers who use environmentally friendly practices and are paid a fair price for their produce. Legends Hospitality, local community vendors and Farm Aid’s perennial food vendors served menu dishes featuring Connecticut and the exceptional farms in the region. Food choices included local fish and chips, crispy oyster tostadas, southern New England Meatworks hot dogs and sausages, roasted Brussels sprouts, beet sandwiches, portobello burgers, Grass-fed beef burgers, sweet potatoes stuffed with locally smoked beef brisket, pretzels made with organic flour, bowls of cereal, beans and greens, plank fries and fillets of chicken with homemade sauces, and much more. Vendors brought in local flavors including Soul de Cuba Café, Whey Station, Villa of Lebanon, DORO Restaurant Group, Maple Valley Creamery and Ben & Jerry’s. Farm Aid’s enduring suppliers 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 air on FarmAid.org and Circle Network, as well as SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse (channel 59) and Dave Matthews Band Radio (channel 30) via SiriusXM radios and on the SXM app.
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant family-farm-centered farming system in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie nelson, Neil young, Jean Mellencamp, Dave matthews and Margo Price host an annual fundraising festival to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and inspire people to choose food from the family farm. For more than 35 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute each year to their performances, has raised more than $ 60 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 for family farms.
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