Thursday, September 25, 2008

Farm Aid's Nelson, Mellencamp, Young and Matthews Urge Congress to Redirect Bailout to Working Men and Women, Farmers

In response to the $700 billion Wall Street bailout currently being considered by Congress, the Farm Aid Board of Directors Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews sent an open letter to Congressional leaders urging them to redirect funds to farm communities and working men and women, where they can be better used to address our country’s economic, environment, energy and health crises.

Please read the letter below and pass it on to your friends and family.

September 25, 2008

Dear Congress,

As you consider the distribution of $700 billion to the very banks and corporations that have gotten our country into the mess we’re in now, we ask you to pause for a moment and consider what that money could do for the people who build our country from the ground up… for our schools, healthcare system, our states, cities and towns, alternative energy development, the homeowners who were the pawns of the banking and mortgage industry. As the Board of Directors of Farm Aid, we want to alert you to what a mere $1 billion could do in the hands of the people who grow our food.

American family farmers are the backbone of our economy, the first rung on the economic ladder. For 23 years, we’ve worked to keep family farmers on the land. But it’s not enough just to save family farmers; we have to create new farmers. When farms fail, Main Street businesses fail. The opposite is true too: When farms thrive, Main Street businesses and local communities thrive. Far from Wall Street, family farmers are creating real wealth, producing real value, growing from seeds and sunlight a product that nourishes us both physically and economically. Supporting diverse decentralized family farming will do far more for the stability and vitality of our country than a handful of global agribusiness corporations could ever do.

The proposed $700 billion bailout asks taxpayers to foot the bill without giving them the opportunity to share in any gains. A $1 billion investment in family farm agriculture would enrich us all, because we are all shareholders of the family farm. The return on investment in the family farm includes thriving local economies, nutritious food for better health, a safer and more secure food supply, a cleaner environment and more renewable energy. Investing in local, sustainable and organic food would shorten the distance between eaters and farmers, conserve energy, create economic opportunities and new jobs through innovative processing and distribution systems, resulting in a better, greener, more efficient food and farm economy.

We’ll leave the economic details to the experts, but we know from traveling the highways and back roads of this country that trickle down economic policy has not created wealth for the vast majority of Americans. Let’s start from the ground up. When we invest in our family farmers, we invest in the revitalization of our country.

Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews
Farm Aid Board of Directors


  1. Yes!!!Well said.
    The willingness to foot the bill for people who could care less about what really happens to the local,national, or even global economies is an atrocity!!I don't recall voting on anything this important, but apparently I and my husband and all our friends and neighbors ARE paying for it!!! Wasn't the revolutionary war begun on the premise of no "taxation without representation"...I don't really care for war, but I sure don't feel well represented by my country right now. I'd rather keep my tax money and buy an acre to feed myself on.
    Sincerely,Kat Redlich,Billings,MT

  2. Anonymous5:04 PM

    Thank You. I am so glad that Farm Aid sent the letter to Congress. I would much rather take my tax money back and redirect it to the farmers. I don't think "Wall Street" will feed anyone except the wealthy executives that caused this mess. If we the people, all the people, have to pay for the mistakes of a few, we should have a vote as to how the money is used. Thank You Sue Smitley Thomaston, CT

  3. Robert Allison1:09 AM

    I completely agree with Farm Aid's letter to congress. I am furious at our government for taking taxpayer's money, and giving it to the most elite international bankers. This will do nothing to help the people. The bailout is the largest robbery of the American People since the Iraq war. America is in debt $9.4(T)rillion, the Iraq war will cost more than $3(T)rillion, and now a $5.4(T)rillion giveaway to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and finally a $700(B)illion theft of the Treasury. America is bankrupt, and the children of tomorrow will suffer the consequences of this unbelievable debt.

  4. YES!!!!! Start with the Basics and the Roots! Food! Healthy, Organic, Sustainable, Put Back into the Earth - Mineral and Vitamin Rich laden Food! That's where the Gold Mines Lay - in the Dirt! And Animals Treated Ethically too! Wow! Great Idea! A Spiritual and Nurturing Way to Heal Ourselves, All of Life and the Planet! Literally from the Ground UP! Yeahhhh! A Spiritual Way To Create Community and Peace - Forests of Organic Farmers Cropping Up Everywhere in America. Among the Tribes! Among the Poor! Among the Elite! Among EveryOne! Thank YOU! 25 yrs ago I decided as a City Girl to buy happy organic food, and I did - wherever I could find it! And Now look! I can buy it at "mainstream" grocers! I love the Changes That Are a Happenin'! Love and Gratitude, From a Spiritual Being in a Healthy Body! Deborah White Fox Marchant' - Shoreline, Washington

  5. While AIG; after receiving the bailout had at least 2 parties we know about; averaging $800,000 each, we had no say in it. THAT was OUR hard earned tax dollars. Did government ask us? Did AIG even thank the US citizens? NO!!

    I 100% agree with the above letter and would like to Thank Farm Aid for taking the time to let "our" voice be heard. Support your local farmers by buying from them directly if possible.

    My wish is that the government will take the advice and help those of us who really need it. We are losing homes, jobs and family due to the financial stress and circumstances the government has allowed to happen due to their inability to recognize how horribly they have messed up the economy and torn America apart.

    May God Bless Us All and Bring us through these difficult times a Better Nation.

  6. I 100% agree with the letter. I would like to Thank Farm Aid from the bottom of my heart and for every American; for taking the time to make a plea for help.

    AIG; after receiving the bailout had 2 parties, each averaging $800,000. That was OUR Hard Earned TAX dollars. Did they even thank the US citizens for helping them? Did the government ask us what we thought before doing so? NO!!

    Support your local farmers by buying directly from them if possible. Start trading services with neighbors and friends. Going back to the basics will save you a lot of money.

    Too many people are suffering. Americans are losing their families, homes, jobs and self-worth due to the government mishandling our future. It is time we hold them responsible and accountable. Write your senators, congress, etc.

    May God Bless Us All and bring us throught these tough times a Better Nation.

  7. Hi Waterfallzzz,
    May I challenge the statement you wrote, "We are losing homes, jobs and family due to the financial stress and circumstances the government has allowed to happen..." It is We that allowed this to happen. We can change things around by Focusing On What We Can Have and Less on What We Don't Have. Check out My Friend to part of the Great Turnaround!
    Love, Deborah White Fox

  8. Anonymous6:14 PM

    forget wall street, farmers should get it all.then lets all go out and help the farmers,land owners plant . start life over with out all the money laws that stop farming now.american should be able to see this is the only way let them blow the money we dont need it. with food they wont stop us the farms need the freedom and they will lead the way

  9. light a candle for where we're going
    forget the clouds that rain on your light
    we've come to far to see it end like this
    this is our country from the east coast to the west coast, we walk tall

    Thank you for doing what you do.