FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 15, 2008

CONTACT:
Brandi Dobbins
202-248-5447
bdobbins@vancomm.com

John Mellencamp Announces First Farm Aid Music Festival in New England

Willie Nelson, Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews to headline Sept. 20 all-star concert event

BOSTON — Alongside farmers and food buyers at the Copley Square Farmers Market, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Governor Deval Patrick welcomed Farm Aid co-founder John Mellencamp to New England as he announced Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic. The concert will take place on Sept. 20 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass., marking the first time the organization will bring its annual benefit concert to the region.

"New England was built on the strength of independent family farmers," said Mellencamp. "We can honor that independent spirit by joining Farm Aid to grow the movement that is changing the way all of America eats."

Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic will feature headliners Willie Nelson, Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews, plus other top artists to be announced. The annual benefit concert will celebrate music and good food, featuring hands-on activities in the HOMEGROWN Village that will showcase the direct connection between who is growing our food and what we eat every day.

"We are proud to bring our annual Farm Aid concert to a region that has such strong agricultural roots and to the many people who love to eat the good food grown in New England," said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. "I'm looking forward to bringing my friends together on the Farm Aid stage to celebrate and support family farmers."

The concert event will again feature family-farm identified, local and organic foods at concessions, setting an example of the many ways that family farm food can be integrated into the general marketplace.

"Bringing Farm Aid's unique concert event to New England creates an unparalleled opportunity to showcase the innovation and determination of the area's farmers," said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid. "We're looking forward to a day filled with outstanding music and delicious food grown by these farmers from across the region."

As part of its work to increase the affordability and availability of fresh, healthy foods, Farm Aid also announced its support for the collaborative initiative between the Food Project and the city of Boston to help more families shop at farmers markets by building infrastructure that allows market vendors to accept food stamps.

Since its beginning, Farm Aid has traveled the country, staging annual concerts and supporting local organizations working to strengthen family farms. Farm Aid builds the Good Food Movement by connecting people with family farmers who are increasing the supply of local, humanely raised, sustainable and organic food.

Tickets for Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic will go on sale July 28 at 10 a.m. EDT and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling (866) 448-7849.

Farm Aid will offer special advance sale tickets to its FarmYard members. To become a member of Farm Aid's FarmYard, visit www.farmaid.org.

Farm Aid offers corporate sponsorship opportunities for select companies. Contact Glenda Yoder at glenda@farmaid.org.

Farm Aid's mission is to build a vibrant family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid's work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family-farmed food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $30 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

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**Editors' and Producers' Note: Advance credentials are required for all media to attend Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic. Please visit www.farmaid.org/media by Aug. 22, 2008 to apply.**