Last week, Farm Aid gathered with supporters of family farmers and good food for An Evening with Farm Aid at Haven’s Kitchen, a recreational cooking school in Manhattan. The night’s honoree Steve Ells, Founder and Chairman of Chipotle Mexican Grill, was presented with a “Courage Axe” for his leadership in bringing sustainable family farmer food to more people. In addition to Steve Ells, speakers included Liora Yalof and Joe DeFeo, co-chairs of the event; Alison Schneider, Founder of Havens Kitchen; Mark Rothbaum, Willie Nelson’s manager; Carolyn Mugar, Farm Aid’s Executive Director; and Thom Duffy from Billboard magazine, who introduced Amos Lee, provider of the night’s entertainment.
The 80 or so people in attendance were treated to an intimate acoustic set by Amos Lee, who performed at Farm Aid’s 25th anniversary concert in Milwaukee in 2010. Among the songs he played was Levon Helm’s touching “Growing Trade” about a desperate farmer ready to try and grow anything in order to survive. After the show, he chatted with fans and said, “If we lose the connection to the family farm, we lose something really important.”