Adam, Nikki and Colin at Farm Aid 2017

Blog | March 22, 2021

Celebrating the Unique Ways Farm Aid Supporters Are Raising Funds and Awareness for Our Work

by Caroline Malcolm Fiore

Farm Aid’s work would not be possible without the generosity of our dedicated supporters. Their deep commitment to our mission is the foundation of our efforts to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture. We are so grateful for all of the ways our supporters strengthen Farm Aid.

Over the years I’ve had the great pleasure to connect with some of our wonderful donors to learn about why our essential family farmers are important and to celebrate the unique ways they’ve raised critical funds and awareness for our work. Some of these supporters are going the extra mile and wearing their love for family farmers on their sleeves!

There are many ways to support Farm Aid’s mission – from making a donation, to buying local, family farm food, to setting up a personal fundraiser. I invite you to read more about some of the incredible folks raising funds for Farm Aid. I hope they inspire you to join us in building a resilient family farm food system, too!

Wearing Her Support for Family Farmers

A few years ago, my mom took us to a local farm to buy some meat. On the car ride back home, I remember she told us about the importance of supporting small family farmers. They treat their animals better and make sure they have better lives than the animals in factory farms. This is something that has stuck with me over the years, and I’ve grown up knowing how important it is to know where your food comes from.

When the pandemic hit in March, I knew that there were people all over the country who needed help and I thought of the farmers who probably needed money more than ever. I’ve always loved fashion and I decided that one way I could help would be to design t-shirts and donate the profits to Farm Aid. – Isabella S.

Isabella and Skunk the Chicken

Sustaining Farm Aid with Monthly Gifts

I support Farm Aid because I believe all people should have access to good food. This last year has shown us that for many people that’s not always the case. Now more than ever, family farms are demonstrating how vital they are to our communities, our planet and our future. My monthly gift ensures that Farm Aid will continue to be there for them, so that they’ll be there for all of us. – Rob M.

Rob at Farm Aid 2019

Going the Extra Mile for Farm Aid…

Over the last 19 years I’ve come to realize that volunteering at Farm Aid is painful and exhausting, but also the happiest I am all year long. On festival day in 2018, I logged 39,861 steps – almost 21 miles – doing whatever was needed to make sure the show went on.

In 2020, Farm Aid was virtual, so there was no onsite set up to be done, no printer issues to work out, no Patchwork Family Farms pork chop sandwich. Even though I wouldn’t be logging the miles at the festival, I wanted to give Farm Aid the support they deserve this year as part of the Farm Aid Bandwagon campaign.

So, I created a plan… I figured if I could walk 40k steps in 2018, I could surely walk 50k steps. Doing the math, 26.2 miles is 50,345 steps, so I set that distance as my goal (after all, pulling off the Farm Aid festival is a marathon, not a sprint!). And, if I was going to walk a marathon, I may as well begin in Hopkinton, MA, the start of the Boston marathon route. As it turns out, the Farm Aid office in Cambridge is a 26.3 mile walk from the starting line.

I invited my friends, and fellow longtime Farm Aid volunteers, Nikki and Colin, to join me on this trek to Farm Aid in 2020. We headed out from East Main Street in Hopkinton and 52,153 steps later arrived at the Farm Aid door in East Cambridge. We encouraged our friends and family to join us virtually on our Farm Aid walkathon by generously pledging their financial support and sending us well wishes as we put in the work to support family farmers.

We believe that good food from family farmers is not just important, our lives depend on it. Supporting Farm Aid is a critical way to ensure that our family farmers and ranchers can continue to grow this good food for all of us. While we missed being in person at the festival in 2020, we found our own way to Farm Aid. And, there was a Patchwork Family Farms pork chop sandwich waiting for me at the end. Totally worth it. – Adam B.

Adam, Nikki and Colin at Farm Aid 2017

Pedaling for Farmers

During the summer of 2019, Cory Flint spent 91 days cycling the Trans-America Trail. Throughout his journey he raised funds for Farm Aid – and was the first fundraiser to join the Farm Aid Bandwagon through his Peddling for Farmers campaign.

Although I am not a farmer and none of my immediate family members are farmers, my family has ties back to farming as early as the 1700s. Growing up in Iowa I recall my taking show pigs to the state fair. The smell of fresh wood chips always takes me back there. When I set out to cycle the Trans-America Trail with Adventure Cycling for a summer, I decided to do something to help others and pay-it-forward by raising money for Farm Aid from friends and family supporting my journey.

After three months pedaling across this great nation, I saw many family farms along the way, but I also saw a lot of deteriorating barns. I hate to think that those barns are no longer used because a farmer left the land, unable to make a living in agriculture. The funds I raised to support Farm Aid from friends and family following my ride offer a bit of help to those struggling to make a living and are at the mercy of corporate control, industrial agriculture and Mother Nature.

The journey came full-circle when I was able to attend Farm Aid 2019 in East Troy, Wisconsin. It was my first time at Farm Aid, but the 34th annual festival was more than I expected and was much more than a concert. The experience was the best ending to my summer adventure and campaign to support Farm Aid. With many generations of my agriculture being in my family, and the pride I have for the life, and impact that my grandfathers had on me and the farmer community – I can only hope that they can look down on me with the same pride I have for the life they lived and the men that they were. – Cory F.

Cory cycling through the Grand Tetons

Other Ways to Support Farm Aid

We hear from folks all the time about how they can contribute to Farm Aid’s mission above supporting their local family farmers. We are so honored that many of you are making donations, joining the Farm Aid Bandwagon, investing in our work by including Farm Aid in your estate planning, and even offering gifts of stock or allocating grants through donor-advised funds. Every bit of support strengthens our efforts to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid couldn’t do this work alone. We’re so thankful we can count on all of you to stand with us. Together, we can change our farm and food system!

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