Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I wish my grandpa could see this...

Willie NelsonI grew up in a farming family—for more than 150 years we’ve lived on the same land in rural Nebraska.

Family farmer values have been passed down for generations in my family. Maybe that’s the case in your family too. We know that things need to get done; we don’t talk about how or when or why—we just do them. There is a quiet dignity and pride in cultivating the same ground that your ancestors laid claim to. I understand the incredible emotional bond a person feels to their home, their land and neighbors, and their community.

Growing up, I didn’t realize how razor -thin the margins were for my family in farming. I only witnessed hard work and determination. I didn't hear any of the worries my grandpa had, and didn't understand that most people don't work for 12 hours on a good day. Working at Farm Aid, I’ve come to understand the challenges many farmers face in a system that is stacked against them. I always knew how precious farm life was; I've now learned how threatened that life has become.

Will you join me today in making a gift to Farm Aid to keep family farmers on the land?

With my grandparents in mind, I give to Farm Aid every year. I am inspired by my co-workers and I know how hard we work to ensure the money we raise is put to good use for family farmers. I want someone else's family to be on the land for hundreds of years. I want a new generation growing good food and creating new memories.

I feel a tug of emotion every year at the concert when I see the outpouring of support people have for this work. And I hug farmers who have no clue who I am because I have an unshakable connection and appreciation for what they do for all of us. I might hug the ones who remind me of my grandpa a little harder, and know he would be proud of the work that we are all doing for family farmers.

Will you join me in making a gift to honor a farmer in your family? Or will you make a donation in appreciation for the farmer who grows food for you and the ones you love? Farmers do so much for us. Let's do all we can to ensure a bright future for family farmers.

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