November 7, 2008

Maria Enie

Farm Aid President Willie Nelson Offers Resources to President-Elect Obama for Creating Sustainable Farm & Food Vision

Letter to Obama Calls for Policies That Support a Family Farm System of Agriculture

SOMERVILLE, MA — Farm Aid President Willie Nelson sent an open letter to President-elect Barack Obama today, congratulating him on his victory and offering Farm Aid as a resource for a new farm and food policy that supports a sustainable, family farm system of agriculture.

By way of introduction, Nelson explained, “I started Farm Aid in 1985 when family farmers were being forced off their land as a result of federal policy that paved the way for industrial agriculture. This shift replaced independent family farmers with factory farms that have wreaked havoc on our communities, our environment and our public health.”

Nelson pointed out that Farm Aid and a network of farm and food organizations across the country, together with family farmers, have been working for years to grow the alternative to the industrial food system—one centered around family farms. Nelson said now is the right time for the leaders of our country to take a leadership role in this movement.

“Now is the time for our country to recognize and call on family farmers’ ingenuity, strength and value to our past and our future,” Willie Nelson said. “We can have strong local economies, green energy, a clean environment, healthy citizens and good food—all of these start with family farmers.” 

“Our family farmers are a national resource with incredible potential to help us solve the challenges we currently face. The steps they are taking are strengthening our local economies, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, protecting our natural resources and increasing our national security,” said Nelson.

To read the letter to President-elect Barack Obama sent by Farm Aid President Willie Nelson, please visit

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 farm 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.