Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When farmers call, I listen

JoelFor 25 years, Farm Aid’s Hotline, 1-800-FARM-AID, has been there for farmers in need. I answer the hotline everyday and I can tell you it shows no sign of slowing down — this year we got more calls than we have in many years. And thousands more farmers are finding the resources they need through the Farmer Resource Network, our online tool to connect farmers with resources to strengthen their farms.

Whether family farmers need help to survive these tough times or if they’re looking to make changes on the farm to help them thrive, Farm Aid is there. But we can’t keep up our work without your support — please consider making a year-end gift to Farm Aid today. If you give $40 or more, we'll thank you by sending a Farm Aid baseball cap that's union made in the USA. Your gift will deliver a helping hand at just the right time for farmers in need.

Most of the folks calling our hotline are family farmers in a credit crunch. The banks they used to rely on for routine operating loans are turning them away. Without a loan, many won't be able to keep farming. Farmers call Farm Aid in hopes that we can help. And we do all that we can.

I grew up in farm country and family farmers are some of the most resourceful and independent people I know. If they’re asking for help, you know they really need it. With your support, Farm Aid is determined to help them succeed.

Let me share with you what farmers tell me they need. Recently I spoke with:

  • A group of Southern farmers looking for information about converting to organic methods so they can supply local schools with safe, high quality food;
  • A Nebraska farmer’s son seeking medical assistance for his ailing dad;
  • A couple who recently graduated college looking for new farmer training programs;
  • A retiring Midwest soy and corn farmer with no children to inherit the farm searching for a sustainably-minded farmer to take over his land so it won’t be gobbled up by development.

The support Farm Aid provides means that family farmers can stay in business and keep doing what they love. For 25 years, Farm Aid has been there for farmers who count on us. Can we count on your support to ensure that family farmers will be able to stay on their land growing the good food we all need in the years to come?

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