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This is what the music business has long known about Farm Aid:
On one day, each year, since 1985, Farm Aid co-founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp have gathered an all-star roster of musicians for a high-profile benefit concert to support the men and women who help feed America.
With Dave Matthews later joining the organization's board in 2001, Farm Aid through the years has welcomed hundreds of artists to its stage, from the inaugural event in Champaign, Ill., to this past summer's show in Kansas City, Kan. Along the way, it has raised more than $39 million to help keep American's family farmers on their land.
This is what the music business may not know about Farm Aid:
The support of the music industry has helped Farm Aid influence a profound shift in the cultural landscape of the country during the past quarter century.
The organization's work, as Nelson has said, simply affects everyone who eats.
Farm Aid deserves credit for promoting many of the positive developments in food culture in the United States in recent years: the growth of farmers markets, the rise of community-supported agriculture groups, the spread of farm-to-table "slow food" restaurants and the wider use of sustainable farming practices.
And those changes in food culture and farming practices, in turn, are affecting much broader issues, from health-care costs to the fight against climate change...
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