It may sound corny, but working for Farm Aid has long been a dream of mine. Admittedly, this desire sprung from the self-serving idea that it would be the coolest thing on earth to work for an organization where Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews sit on the Board of Directors. Willie Nelson as my boss? How cool! My friends used to chuckle at me when I told them this, forcing me to acknowledge my (sometimes serious) music addiction.
How lucky I feel today to chuckle back and introduce myself as Farm Aid’s new Program Manager. Cross that one off the “bucket list.”
To be fair, my love affair with this organization goes far deeper (no offense, Willie). Like so many of us, I grew up in an area that is slowly losing farmland and open space to development. As a child, I lamented the beautiful landscapes in my part of Pennsylvania that gave way to strip malls and mega stores. Bye-bye, scenic pastures with roaming dairy cattle. So long, strawberry farm across the creek behind my house. Hello, parking lot.
Not surprisingly, I acquired a strong interest in agriculture and working to save family farmers over the years (so much so that I actually got a graduate degree in the topic). I could go on for eons about why I think Farm Aid’s mission is so important, but suffice it to say that for me, it resonates pretty deeply.
Readers, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I’m looking forward to many more blog posts and a continuous dialogue with you and all those concerned about helping our family farms and growing the Good Food Movement. In the meantime, feel free to contact me at Alicia@farmaid.org.