Blog | September 11, 2020

Updates from the Farm Aid Bandwagon

by Matt Glidden

We’re grateful that people have joined the Farm Aid Bandwagon to raise funds in honor of our 35th anniversary. All month long, we’re posting challenges for participants, and we’ll start awarding prizes and rewards soon. The first week’s challenge was to customize your Bandwagon fundraising page, and  I’d like to share a few of the great ones that have already come in:

Tamar Schrager

Rick Schrager’s shirt from the first Farm Aid concert in 1985.

I grew up in a small farming community in western Massachusetts. I helped my parents with chores around our land to raise the meat and veggies that were on our kitchen table to feed us. My knowledge of the Farm Aid community began many years ago as my late husband, Rick attended the first Farm Aid Festival in IL in 1985 and had a favorite t-shirt that he promised me that I would always keep. At the 30th Anniversary show held in Chicago, I was lucky enough to attend with friends and got to know some of the Farm Aid staff. After that volunteering and discussing the Farm Aid organization became a passion.

I’ll miss volunteering this year and I hope the money we raise for the virtual festival will continue to support our farmers. Please consider a donation to Farm Aid and remember “What you eat is important, so please support your local farmers and business whenever possible.

Rick Schrager’s ticket from the first Farm Aid concert in 1985.

Adam Baker

We are is incredibly lucky to have Adam as a dedicated volunteer every year at the Farm Aid festival. This year, he’s walking the length of a marathon to raise funds on the Bandwagon:

Every year, my Road to Farm Aid is a marathon. This year, I’m going to Farm Aid, even as the festival goes virtual…

I have a sickness. It’s a little short of masochism, but my favorite thing that I do all year is volunteer at Farm Aid. The thing is, this volunteering I do is literally painful, exhausting, but also the happiest I will be all year long. Though I am most often seen driving around the venue in a cart getting things set up in the days before the show, and on show day, there is always a lot of work to be done. In 2018 at the Hartford show, I wore a Fitbit for the first time and the data was enlightening.

Wednesday I arrived on site to get oriented around a venue I have only been to as a spectator: 14,486 steps. Not a bad total when stacked against my daily 9,000 step goal. On Thursday, I logged 16,757 steps. I was a little short of my personal best, but a good start. Friday I was getting into the swing of the festival work and logged a new personal best at 23,348 steps to boot. Nice. Saturday got complicated, as all Farm Aid festival days do. Once gates open, carts are not allowed inside “the house,” so my ability to ride to my destination is hampered, so I must rely on my feet. And it was a feat! The big reveal of steps logged on festival day… 39,861! Given my bit less than 3’ stride, that was almost 21 miles of steps. Once I checked steps at 11:00 PM, I hoped to get to 40,000, but as the Staff Lot is closest to the back of the venue, every concertgoer drove out before me. Once I finally got back to the hotel around 12:30 AM, and my chance to get to 40K on Saturday was dashed.

This year, Farm Aid is virtual, so there will be no tables and chairs to deliver, no media tent to help set up, no HOMEGROWN Village exhibitors or sponsors to assist. No printer issues, no Patchwork pork chop sandwich, no SiriusXM tables and chairs. No press event to crash. No sound check to breeze by. Did I mention no pork chop sandwich? I am beyond disappointed that I won’t be logging the miles at Farm Aid in person this year

So, here’s an insight into how my mind works. It took me just 10 minutes to evolve this plan…

Visit Adam’s fundraising page to learn more about his plan to walk the route of the Boston Marathon to Farm Aid’s office!

Leif Eriksen

I’m proud to be on the Farm Aid Bandwagon raising funds and amplifying Farm Aid’s critical mission.

When I first volunteered for Farm Aid in 2009, I saw it as an opportunity to see some bands I love for free.

I got there early on the day of the show, and helped set up the Homegrown Village. Eventually, I was asked to help train farmers on how to use the Farmer’s Resource Network – a new innovation at the time that allowed farmers to explore their options in times of crisis. I wound up speaking with a lot of smaller, family farmers who were struggling to compete with the factory farms.

These are the people who grow the delicious food you put on your table, yet they were having a hard time putting food on theirs.

In the years that followed, Jenna and I volunteered for the Farm Aid cause and viewed the music as an added bonus. The Farm Aid Concert, which raises a lot of the funds they operate with throughout the year to provide lobbying efforts and resources to farmers, is going virtual this year.

This annual concert, in which everyone from the people like me to the bands and performers are volunteers and work on their own dime, is crucial financially to the success of the Farm Aid cause. Without the in-person event, they need our help. Would you please consider giving what you can to assure Farm Aid can continue doing the good work they do to assure the family farms survive and that healthy, organic food can continue to reach your table?

Join the Farm Aid Bandwagon

We’re about 40% of the way towards our goal of raising $35,000 in honor of Farm Aid’s 35th anniversary. To get there, we’ll need your help – click here to learn more about the campaign and the great prizes and rewards along the way.

Donate today

Give $100 or more to get a Farm Aid 100% recycled aluminum water bottle!

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