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Supporting Sustainable Family Farms!

Did you know the largest 6% of US farms now produce 75% of the country’s agricultural products? Large-scale industrial agriculture is driving family farmers from their property, is reducing the connection between consumers and their food and are potentially unsustainable and could have severe consequences for the environment.  There are also concerns that the food being produced is less nutritious.

Farm Aid Mission

 Since 1985 Farm Aid has been at the forefront of protecting the nations family farms; family farms are essential components of the economy, providing good jobs, growing healthy food, and acting as stewards of the environment.  Along with hosting the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline, they provide the most comprehensive national database of farmer resource referrals available.

Farm Aid also provides the Farmer Resource Network, an online space where new and established farmers can find the information and tools they need to thrive.

1% for the Planet Partners 

Farm Aid works with a wide variety of partners including a number of 1% for the Planet partner.  Some of these include: 

Center for Rural Affairs (NE)

CAFF

Cultivate Kansas City

EarthDance

Family Farm Defenders

Growing Power

Intervale Center

National Farm to School Network

Organic Seed Alliance

Slow Food USA

Successes to Date 

-  Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985.

“Shoppers! Buy with a conscience and save the family farm.”

– Neil Young

 -  Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001

-  Farm Aid has raised more than $40 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system

-  For over 27 years, Farm Aid has answered 1-800-FARM-AID to provide immediate and effective support services to farm families in crisis

-  Fielded 800 farm contacts via the hotline in 2012 alone

-  Provided drought assistance funds to 45 farm and ranch families in 2012

-  Provided emergency support to 7 farm families in 2012

Challenges:

-       Over the last 30 years, America has lost an average of 350 small and mid-sized farms each week

-       According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, between 1982 and 2007, the US lost over 40 percent of its small and mid-sized farms - or 460,000 farms

-       93% of soybeans and 80% of corn grown in the US are under the control of one company

-       The effects of climate change make running small and medium-sized farms even more challenging

Call to Action

1. Anyone can help to support Farm Aid’s cause by first and foremost, supporting your local farmers.

2. You can also check out, Farm Aid’s Action Center, where you can use a number of tools to make your voice heard for family farmers.  Issues discussed include the US Farm Bill, mandatory labeling of GMO’s, fair markets for all farmers, and farm to school programs.

3. There are also a multitude of opportunities for volunteering at Farm Aid’s annual concert.

A Brighter Future for Farm Aid and America

Farm Aid’s longevity and commitment to the American family farm make them a unique and inviting resource for independent farmers. As new resources and new organizations spring forward to service the next generation of America’s family farmers, Farm Aid is committed to the task of mapping out and promoting these educational opportunities and tools.   If Farm Aid is successful, it will meet these objectives:

- Farm Aid’s Farmer Resource Network is known, utilized and effective in getting farmers the resources they need.

- Family farmers are no longer driven off the land by corporate greed and outdated governmental programs.

- Fair farm policies are enacted to defend and bolster family farm agriculture.

- Strong markets exist to support more family farmers.

- Consumers prefer food from family farms, and reconnect with their local farmers.

- Everyone can afford good food from family farmers to feed their families.

- There is no longer a need for Farm Aid! Hopefully everyone who wants to grow can successfully make a living farming

Contact Kari Williams, Farm Aid’s Development Director, kari@farmaid.org, 617.354.2922 with any further questions.

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