Willie Nelson at Farm Aid 2016 Photo © Brian Bruner / Bruner Photo

Blog | July 5, 2018

“We don’t run, we don’t compromise. We don’t quit; we never do.”

by Willie Nelson

If you’ve had reason to call the Farm Aid office, you might have heard a familiar voice singing these words while your call was transferred. When I wrote that song, I wasn’t thinking about Farm Aid, but it sure applies perfectly to how we do our work.

Especially right now, with the farm economy in crisis, Farm Aid is not compromising. And we sure ain’t quitting. Staying true to our core values, we’re standing right here with family farmers. After all:

We don’t run, we don’t compromise. We don’t quit; we never do.

I started Farm Aid in 1985, during the height of the Farm Crisis. Through the generosity of donors like you, nearly 500 artists through the years, and the hard work of farmers and grassroots farm organizations, we’ve fought to turn things around for family farmers. And I’d have to say we’ve made a difference. But farmers are telling us it feels like the 1980s again: there are deep problems in the countryside right now. Farm prices have taken a dive and farmers are earning half what they made just five years ago.

Imagine going to work every day, putting in the same hours, but getting just half your paycheck. It doesn’t add up, and family farmers deserve to earn a fair living. If you were forced to take a 50% cut in pay, you’d have to find a different job. But we need family farmers on the land growing good food for us all. We can’t afford for them to leave farming for good.

This year, as we prepare for Farm Aid 2018, we plan to celebrate family farmers, but our message of urgency will be loud and clear: Family farmers are more threatened than ever. But Farm Aid won’t quit. Can I count on you to stand with us?

Please give a gift to Farm Aid today.

On September 22, my friends and fellow Farm Aid board members, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, will gather on the Farm Aid stage in Hartford, Connecticut. We’ll be joined by other caring artists who donate their time and talent for family farmers and good food. It’s a strong tradition I’m proud of! And it’s more important than ever.

I hope you’ll be there with us, too. If you can’t make it to Farm Aid 2018 in Connecticut, please consider making a donation of $75 right now. In honor of your gift, Farm Aid will send you an official Farm Aid 2018 baseball cap so that you can proudly wear your support of family farmers.

The annual Farm Aid festival shows family farmers that we value them. Over the years, farmers have told me how much it means to them to see thousands of people come together to support family farm agriculture. And Farm Aid works every day — not just once a year – to keep every family farmer on the land.

You know as well as I do that family farmers are an important economic pillar of our rural communities. Right now, because of bad policies in Washington, we’re losing too many family farmers. Meanwhile, a handful of corporations control our food from farm to fork. Their power gives them political influence over the rules that govern our food system and allows them to manipulate the marketplace. They push down the prices paid to family farmers and drive them out of business.

Farm Aid 2018 is an opportunity to put family farmers center stage, and to pledge our support to them year-round – especially in these tough times. With you on board, Farm Aid can connect farmers to resources so they can find new markets for their food, and gain access to credit, land and the support they need to thrive. In times like these, we need your support so Farm Aid can help farmers navigate their best options for staying on the land.

Each of us can be part of the solution. We can stand with family farmers through Farm Aid; we can support farmers directly with our food dollars; and we can stand up to Washington to tell them to make family farmers a priority.

Every time we lose a farm family, we risk losing that farmland forever. We lose an important piece of a thriving local economy. We lose a critical caretaker of the land. We lose a piece of our heritage and we lose the next generation of farmers who will grow our food in the future.

Please make a gift today to support Farm Aid and our nation’s family farmers. Your contribution will ensure their success and livelihood, so that we all have good food for healthy families, strong communities and protected soil and water.

Stay Strong and Positive,

 

 

 

Willie Nelson
Farm Aid President

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