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Farm Aid aims to help local growers

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Willie Nelson, who helped found Farm Aid, said that family farms have overcome hardships through the years.
Willie Nelson, who helped found Farm Aid, said that family farms have overcome hardships through the years.

As farm equipment rolls on across the fields of America for this year's harvest, members of Farm Aid took the stage in an effort to support family farmers.

The Farm Aid concert took place outside of St. Louis, Missouri and featured performers such as Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, all of whom a members of the organization's board. Proceeds from the concert will be used to help Farm Aid's efforts to help family farms.

Nelson, who is the president and founder of Farm Aid, noted that despite the odds, family farmers have managed to keep their land and provide for everyone in the nation.

"It's time now for policy to rise to meet their needs with fair prices and support for their innovations," Nelson said.

Along with the concert, the event featured a food festival that showcased items produced from family farms. The featured foods were grown locally and organically, and the event gave attendees the chance to interact with farmers. Participants also took part in hands-on, educational demonstrations.

According to LocalHarvest.org, which is a website dedicated to organic and local foods, 80 percent of farms in the country are small farms, and a good majority of those are owned by families. Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made efforts to encourage regionally-based food production through grant awards.
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