FarmYard panel at Farm Aid 2022
FarmYard panel at Farm Aid 2022. Photo © Lise Metzger

Blog | January 13, 2023

Farmer Voices Loud and Clear on Climate at Farm Aid 2022

by Jennifer Fahy

The Farm Aid stage is known primarily for its music but amplifying farmer voices is a major focus of our work—in the events leading up to Farm Aid festival day, at the press event that kicks off our day on the main stage, and on the FarmYard Stage in the HOMEGROWN Village.

The FarmYard Stage brings farmers and ranchers together with music artists to talk about the challenges and opportunities farmers and eaters face. The FarmYard Stage always draws a crowd, and the half-hour conversations are informative, open and often emotional. We’ve put together some highlights from each of the conversations that took place at Farm Aid 2022.

“Agri-therapy” for Mental Wellness

Farmer Marvin Frink of Briarwood Cattle Farm in Red Spring, NC, joined Farm Aid Artist Allison Russell and Farm Aid hotline operator Lori Mercer to talk about mental wellness on the farm and in life—and how climate change impacts it. Bringing three people together who are such passionate advocates for talking openly and frankly about stress and mental health led to a beautiful and personal conversation about the stresses of agriculture, the joys of agriculture, and the stressors and concerns we all face.

Watch highlights of this conversation:

Watch the whole conversation:


Policy Change: Grassroots for Climate

This conversation featured agriculture and policy rockstars (one of whom is both a farmer and policymaker!) to talk about the ways we can all raise our voices for policies that promote strong farmers and a healthy climate. Heidi Secord, of Josie Porter Farm in Pennsylvania, joined NC State Senator Natalie Murdock and Georgia State Senator and farmer Kim Jackson to rally the audience for change in our farm and food system and climate!

Watch highlights of this conversation:

Watch the whole conversation:


Native Agriculture and Pasture Beef for the Climate

To talk about Native agriculture, beef production and climate change, our moderator Tomas Harmon spoke with Zach Ducheneux, a cattle rancher in South Dakota who is now serving as the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency and is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; North Carolina farmer Eddie Moore of Moore Brothers Natural Beef, who is a member of the Lumbee Tribe; and Farm Aid artist Micah Nelson.

Watch highlights of this conversation:

Watch the whole conversation:


Climate Resilience Starts in the Soil

One of the most powerful solutions for climate change is our soil. In this conversation, farmer Bryn Bird of Bird’s Haven Farms in Ohio, farmer Wayne Swanson of Swanson Family Farms in Georgia, and Farm Aid artist (and former farmer!) Charley Crockett talked about the ways farmers are healing the soil and our climate.

Watch highlights of this conversation:

Watch the whole conversation:

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