|Farm Aid Responds to Northeast Flooding; Continues Support to Gulf Farmers|
SOMERVILLE, Mass. - Farm Aid today announced that it is granting emergency resources to support family farmers in the Northeast hard hit in June by heavy flooding. Farm Aid is channeling emergency assistance to support local relief efforts in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont, delivering $20,000 in disaster-relief funds to farm families.
"The recent flooding and heavy rains that hit the Northeast have done serious crop and farm damage," said Farm Aid Program Director, Ted Quaday. "In the face of these recent disasters from extreme weather, we must rally behind our local farmers and protect our source of good food."
Disaster-relief funds will be granted to the Glynwood Center in New York, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and the Intervale Center in Vermont. Farm Aid monies will be used to provide direct emergency assistance to family farmers affected by the flooding and heavy rain. The federal government has declared 20 counties in New York, 21 counties in Pennsylvania and the entire state of Vermont disaster areas. Estimated farm losses across the three states top $88 million.
In addition, as part of its ongoing efforts to help farmers in the Gulf region, Farm Aid is also granting $10,000 in relief funds to support family farmers struggling to rebuild their destroyed farms caused by last year's hurricanes. Farm Aid funds will support the Federation of Southern Cooperatives' program to transport emergency hay to the dairy farmers in the lower Gulf Coast of Mississippi who are experiencing drought conditions.
Farm Aid 2006 Presented by Silk Soymilk will take place on Saturday, September 30 at the Tweeter Center at the Waterfront in Camden, NJ. For more information on Farm Aid's annual benefit concert, visit www.farmaid.org/concert.
Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001. Farm Aid raises awareness about the critical role of family farms and has raised more than $29 million to build and strengthen family farm food production. Between 1985 and 2005, 80 percent of Farm Aid's total expenditures were spent on programs to benefit family farmers, exceeding charity watchdog standards. Through public education, program activities and grants, Farm Aid promotes food from family farms and sustainable agriculture, fights factory farms, advocates for fair farm prices and provides disaster assistance and credit counseling to farm families.