Before a concert in Nampa, Idaho, last week, Farm Aid President Willie Nelson took some time to meet with two Idaho ranchers. We’ve long known and respected the leadership of Mabel and Grant Dobbs, so we were thrilled to help arrange their visit with Willie. The two met with Willie on his bus to talk about work that is being done in Idaho to support family farms and local agriculture.
“It was an amazing experience to be able to congratulate Willie on 30 years of Farm Aid and to thank him for all of the work that he’s done to support farmers and ranchers across the country,” Mabel Dobbs said after walking off of Nelson’s tour bus.
Mabel and Grant Dobbs are long-time members of Farm Aid grantee Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), a regional network of grassroots community organizations that work to build sustainable environmental and economic communities that balance economic growth with the health of people and stewardship of their land, water, and air resources. Mabel currently sits as the Chair of WORC’s Agriculture and Food Campaign Team. Mabel and Grant are also members of the Weiser River Resource Council (WRRC), a local chapter of the new and growing Idaho Organization of Resource Councils (IORC), a local member group of WORC.
“We talked to Willie about the issues that WORC and IORC address,” Mabel Dobbs said, “ including the challenges of non-competitive meat markets created by the monopolization of the market by large corporations, the challenges that local producers face with the proposed trade agreement the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the challenges that rural farm communities face with under-regulated oil and gas development, concerns about water quantity and quality, and the ways that we are working to grow family farmers by promoting independent ranchers and supporting cottage foods producers in Idaho.”
Willie thanked the Dobbs’ for their continued work with IORC and WORC. They all agreed that it was encouraging to see young farmers and organizers joining the family farm and local food movement, and that they were happy that their work would continue for another 30 years and more.