Farm Aid marked its 35th anniversary today with Farm Aid 2020 On the Road, a three-and-a-half-hour, virtual at-home festival that took place on September 26 and featured 22 artists who helped showcase the critical need for family farmers, the food they produce and their care for soil and water amid a time of unprecedented upheaval in our country, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and necessary calls for racial justice.
Farm Aid 2020 On the Road’s lineup featured Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews, along with Black Pumas, Bonnie Raitt and Boz Scaggs, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Edie Brickell with Charlie Sexton, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson, Jon Batiste, Kelsey Waldon, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Norah Jones, Particle Kid, The Record Company, Valerie June and The War And Treaty.
“The pandemic has shown everyone that our corporate-dominated food system is fragile and unjust. Now more than ever, it should be clear to all of us how much we need family farmers and why it’s so important to listen to them and support efforts — at home, locally and nationally — to keep them on the land.” — Willie Nelson
Farm Aid 2020 Videos
Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs
Edie Brickell with Charlie Sexton
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
The Record Company
The War and Treaty
Willie Nelson and the Boys
Farm Aid 2020 Video Extras
During the virtual festival, Rhonda Perry and Roger Allison, farmers and founders of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a vulnerable dominant food system that works intentionally to maximize corporate power and profits, while putting the health of soil and water, farmers and workers, communities and people at risk.
The virtual festival also showcased the diversity and strength of family farmers, demonstrating that a thriving movement — especially of young farmers; Black, brown and Indigenous farmers; and women farmers — is leading the way for conversations, strategies and change to create a more democratic farm and food system. Louisiana farmers Angie and June Provost discussed their experience with racial discrimination in lending that ultimately resulted in the loss of their farm. Many other farmers from across the country were featured in video montages that showcased the reasons farmers do the work they do, the challenges they face, and their hopes for the future of agriculture.
Check out this playlist to hear family farmers explain why they farm, watch Brandi Carlile give a tour of her garden, learn about indigenous farmers’ connection to the land and hear from Bonnie Raitt on why we need to build a family farm food system.