September 17, 2008

Maria Enie, (202) 331-4323,

New Farm Aid Initiative Closes Gap Between Farmer Supply and Consumer Demand for Family Farm Food

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — Farm Aid today announced the launch of its web-based Farmer Resource Network to help farmers answer the consumer call for more quality family-farmed foods.

Across the country, more people are reaching for local, organic and sustainably-grown food from family farms. Farm Aid's Farmer Resource Network links family farmers to new and innovative ideas to help them meet this rising consumer demand. The Farmer Resource Network also contains tools to help put new farmers on the land.

"Family farmers are real heroes and true innovators," said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. "Everyday they're coming up with new ideas and now they have a tool to learn about what works from each other. Their ingenuity guarantees a strong future of family farm food."

Working in partnership with major organizations in sustainable and organic farming — including the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, the Organic Farming Research Foundation and Rodale Institute — Farm Aid created the network to help increase the number of family farmers and ensure that good food is available to everyone. The network is an outgrowth of twenty-three years of Farm Aid's hotline work, finding resources in each state to meet the needs of farmers.

"Eaters everywhere are telling us they want to know that family farmers are growing their food. They want fresh food grown close to home, and they want to know the environment is being protected in the process," said Carolyn Mugar, Farm Aid's executive director. "This burgeoning Good Food Movement creates a tremendous opportunity for family farmers. The Farmer Resource Network is there to help farmers connect to this rising wave of enthusiasm for good food."

The Farmer Resource Network connects family farmers to hundreds of organizations that are developing new approaches to production and marketing. These practical innovations provide the support farmers need to sustain their land, grow good food and benefit from greater consistency and economic stability on their farms. Farmer Resource Network providers can share stories about successful farm operations and connect family farmers to people with ideas to diversify and strengthen their farms. Through the online database, farmers will have the capability to search for farmer resources by location, subject and type of farm.

Visit the Farmer Resource Network at

About Farm Aid
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.

About National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. It provides information and other technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, Extension agents, educators, and others involved in sustainable agriculture in the United States.

About Organic Farming Research Foundation
The Organic Farming Research Foundation was founded in 1990 to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. OFRF sponsors organic farming research and education projects, disseminates the results to organic farmers and to growers interested in adopting organic production systems, and educates the public and policymakers about organic farming issues. The majority of OFRF's board members are working organic farmers.

About Rodale Institute
The Rodale Institute, a 333-acre nonprofit education and research center near Kutztown in Berks County, has been a leader in the science of regenerative and organic agriculture and its impact on global warming, nutrition and human health. For 60 years, The Rodale Institute has been a pioneer in organic research, education and outreach, advocating organic food production techniques as a means of renewing human and environmental health.