FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 15, 2009

CONTACT:
Brandi Horton
202-331-4323
bhorton@vancomm.com

Farm Aid Grants to Strengthen and Promote Sustainable Family Farm Food Production

SOMERVILLE, MA — Farm Aid announced today that it granted $557,550 in 2008 to family farm and rural service organizations nationwide. Farm Aid invested over $68,000 alone in programs that support family farm agriculture across New England, which was home to its 2008 benefit concert.

"Farm Aid is proud to support the hands-on work of building a sustainable family farm-based food system on the local, state, regional and national levels," said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. "We received a record number of proposals this year, reflecting the fact that the Good Food Movement keeps growing as more and more people reach for local, organic and sustainably-grown food from family farms. We need more family farmers than ever to meet the demand for high quality, nutritious food that family farmers grow best."

The funds were distributed to over 70 organizations across the country and will support a variety of programs that strengthen family farm agriculture and promote food from family farms. Farm Aid funds were invested in programs that help farm families stay on their land and build local markets, increase access to fresh food, increase institutional buying of family farm food, confront the threat of corporate control of agriculture, train new farmers and support farmer-to-farmer programs for more sustainable agricultural practices. Funds will also support efforts to ensure that legislation enacted in the 2008 Farm Bill is implemented in ways that serve the interests of family farmers. Farm Aid's Family Farm Disaster Fund provided $88,850 in grants and emergency relief to farm families affected by weather disasters in 2008.

For a complete listing of Farm Aid's 2008 grants, visit www.farmaid.org.

In addition to its grant making, Farm Aid's program work includes public education to increase demand for family farm food and advocating for policy that serves farmers and consumers alike. Many organizations supported by Farm Aid are part of Farm Aid's Farmer Resource Network, an evolution of its farmer hotline that also offers an online tool to link family farmers with innovative ideas that help them meet the rising consumer demand for food from family farms. The Farmer Resource Network also contains tools to help put new farmers on the land. To learn more about the Farmer Resource Network, visit www.farmaid.org/ideas.

Much of the money raised by Farm Aid this year was the result of its annual benefit concert held September 20, 2008 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass. The concert was broadcast live on DIRECTV and highlights of the concert will be rebroadcast on DIRECTV's The 101 Network throughout 2009.

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 $33 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the current system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

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