If you live in a place that’s anything like the northeast corner of the country that I call home, it’s hard not to notice a shift in activity at the small farms around us. For the farm stands and farmers markets that remain open this time of year, the fruit harvest has mostly given way to late autumn or winter squash and various root vegetables by now. Fortunately, some have greenhouses that provide us with fresh lettuces and other family farm food to help us through the harsh winters.
Though the fields may appear quiet, there’s still plenty of hard work being done, both inside and out. To grow and nourish the livestock and crops that feed us year-round, the farmers are constantly nurturing the resources they depend on. This investment in the long-term health of the soil, water, and climate around them, ensures that these vital resources will sustain not just their farm operation, but our community as well.
Farm Aid works year-round too, answering our Farmer Hotline in times of crisis as well as providing long-term strategies that strengthen family farm agriculture. Your support is critical, enabling us to advocate for fair farm policies that promote sustainability, equity, access, and diversity across our food system, and to connect farmers and ranchers to the resources they need to address the challenges of a changing climate.
With #GivingTuesday fast approaching next week – and in honor of all the hard work family farmers do year-round – we hope you’ll take a moment to be there for them, just as they continue to be there for us. Your donation in any amount makes a real difference. Thank you for standing with Farm Aid and our family farmers.
Our Goal on GivingTuesday
We’re asking you to join us again this #GivingTuesday because Farm Aid depends upon the support of people like you to provide the critical resources our essential family farmers and ranchers need.
Our goal is to raise $50,000 this year for #GivingTuesday on November 29, but we can only reach that with your help. You can even give us a head start towards our #GivingTuesday goal by donating today! Stand with Farm Aid and show family farmers just how much we value their hard work.
As in years past, a generous group of Farm Aid donors have pledged to kick-start our campaign by matching a portion of the donations we receive this #GivingTuesday. So when you make a donation to support family farmers, your gift will have double the impact thanks to Deb and Brian Leedom, Karen Hirshan, Yan Besner, Randy Poe and Travis Webb.
We asked them to share a few words about why they support Farm Aid and this is what they had to say:
“The last few years have seen so much change and reinvention in our lives. My weekly trips to the farmers market have become precious to me and remind me how grateful I am for my local farmers. As soon as I smell the gorgeous scent of herbs and see all the seasonal produce available, I am transported to a happy place and a creative one! I not only treasure family farmers and admire them for their hard work in providing us good food, but for the inspiration they give me in both my kitchen and studio.
I have always photographed produce and flowers and dreamt of seeing them on ceramics; dishes, platters, mugs and the like. This year, my dream came true and I pursued a ceramic line using my photographs. I could not have made this dream come true without my local farmers providing me weekly inspiration. Support your farmers through Farm Aid – you never know what their hard work in the fields will lead to!”
– Karen Hirshan
“General well-being and wellness is a priority for me and my family, especially with everything going on in the world today. What we put into our bodies affects all aspects of our lives and nothing is truer for me and my loved ones.
The best way to start taking care of yourself and your loved ones is to know what you’re eating and from where it came from. Your family farmer works tirelessly to not only take care of us but to help the land. It’s giving at its purest. We sometimes forget that the simple answer is sometimes the most true.
As a fundraiser, donor, volunteer and champion of Farm Aid, I never lose sight of how much any and all support is appreciated and needed – especially during this time. On this #GivingTuesday, please give what you can, and thank those who feed us so that we can keep taking care of each other. Much love, everyone.”
– Yan Besner
“I have been a fan and supporter of this organization since watching the very first Farm Aid concert on television in 1985. My grandfather was a farmer in Alabama and many of the friends I grew up with in the South had family farms. My childhood memories include spending days on those family farms, helping to milk the cows and gather the eggs. I remember how tomatoes used to taste when they were still grown without large amounts of fungicides, pesticides, and herbicides. I remember drinking milk when there was still cream at the top of the glass.
Change for the better is always good, but not all change is for the better. Changing the American food system based primarily on yield and corporate greed is one of the greatest disservices being done to the American people.
We still have a long way to go, but I have hope that the day will come when those who have never had the chance will finally be able to experience what tomatoes, corn, squash, chicken, beef, pork, and milk taste like when they come not from corporate farms but from America’s family farmers. How could anyone not want to become involved with an organization like Farm Aid?”
– Randy Poe
“Every year around this time, millions of Americans reflect on their lives and the world around them. We reflect on our problems, but also give thanks for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. One of the greatest blessings in my life has been the opportunity to grow up on a family farm. My parents still live on that farm, and each year I cherish the time that I can bring my two sons to the Central Illinois homestead to experience the connection with the land and the animals of our heritage. The hard work of my youth sticks out in my mind, but it is precisely that hard work that has given me so many good memories and made me who I am.
When I became a part of the Farm Aid family several years ago, I was welcomed into an incredible community of people committed to helping family farmers succeed in this turbulent world. Life has changed on family farms since I grew up there, but the love of the land and the freedom of working in the fields and barns is still powerful and draws people of strength and courage to carry on the task of feeding our communities. I am proud to support the great work of the Farm Aid organization, and I hope others will feel the same.”
– Travis Webb
“We’re concerned that too many people lack a connection to their true food sources and think no further than that milk comes from a plastic container and food arrives at their store shelves wrapped in plastic. We worry that people look at farmland and see planned communities rather than the connection the land has to their food sources. We worry that Farm-to-Table may be perceived as a lifestyle trend and not a way of life that’s critical to overall health.What inspires and excites us is all the good work Farm Aid does to educate, advocate for, and support family farmers by connecting them to the people in their communities so that they begin to feel invested in protecting them, too. We have been supporting Farm Aid since the first show we attended in 2007 and will continue to help our farmers thrive through all the hard work they do.”
– Deb & Brian Leedom
Our Way of Saying Thanks
This year, we’re pleased to offer a Farm Aid beanie as a symbol of our thanks to those that generously donate $75 or more!
You Can Help Farm Aid Make A Difference
Please join us this #GivingTuesday on November 29, to make a difference in the lives of the essential family farmers who provide us with good food, steward our soil and water, and strengthen our communities year-round! Here’s how you can help:
- Make a gift to Farm Aid to help us reach our goal on #GivingTuesday
Mark your calendar by downloading this helpful reminder so you don’t forget!
- Spread the Word
Want to see your good deed go even further? Help us get the word out on social media! Post your favorite food and farm photos or tell people why you love Farm Aid and use the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #FarmAid. You can even start your own fundraising campaign to raise even more funds for Farm Aid.
- Eat Well, Do Good
Finally, don’t forget to share your support of family farmers every day by eating good food grown in your community.
Please help us reach our goal! We’re grateful for your support!