In 1985, when every newspaper in the country showed family farms being auctioned off, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp held the first Farm Aid concert to save family farms. A lot has changed since then but their unwavering commitment to family farmers has never waned. Dave Matthews was added to the Board of Directors in 2001 and joins the founders in a dedication to seeing family farmers succeed.
Farm Aid stands for a democratic, decentralized, and sustainable food system based on thriving family farms. For over 20 years, Farm Aid has energized and mobilized citizens—farmers, eaters and environmentalists—to confront corporate-driven agriculture in this country and to build the alternative.
Right now, America is on the cusp of a powerful good food movement, promoted and supported by Farm Aid. The American public recognizes family farmers as their resource for food that is local, humanely-raised, organic, and sustainable, and consumers are reaching for these foods in grocery stores, at farmers markets, in schools and even in hospitals. This demand offers growing economic opportunity for family farmers to thrive. Farm Aid will continue to work to increase the options for all family farmers in order to secure a safe, healthy food supply for our future.
Funds generated at each Farm Aid concert and throughout the year are used to support grassroots efforts across the country that directly strengthen local, family farm-centered agriculture. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $29 million dollars build and strengthen family farm food production.