The Spirit of Farm Aid Award

Farm Aid is the sum of the incredible people who are part of it. Recently, Farm Aid has begun to formally recognize the individuals who have contributed in meaningful ways to the organization over the course of our rich history. In 2017, we launched the “Spirit of Farm Aid” awards.

The awards acknowledge – in a small, deeply grateful way – those people who embody what Farm Aid stands for. We look to recognize these people for their tireless efforts to promote the organization’s mission and values through contributions of their time and talent on behalf of America’s family farmers.

We honor these long-time friends, advisors and partners of the organization at the annual Farm Aid Eve benefit which occurs the evening before each Farm Aid festival. The event brings together new and existing members of the Farm Aid community to share their stories over music and family farm food. Recipients of the Spirit of Farm Aid award receive a framed “Lifetime All Access” pass, which is meant to demonstrate that they are, and will always be, a cherished member of the Farm Aid community. The 2019 Spirt of Farm Aid awardees will be announced soon. Please stay tuned!

2018 Spirit of Farm Aid Recipients

The second annual Spirit of Farm Aid awards were proudly distributed at Farm Aid Eve on September 21, 2018, in Hartford, CT, to the following honorees:


Awarded to David Senter, current President of the American Agriculture Movement, former farmer and voice for family farm agriculture


Awarded posthumously to Ralph Paige of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, for his enormous contribution on behalf of black farmers and rural landowners across the Southeast


Awarded to CMA-winning artist and songwriter Jamey Johnson, who has given his time and talent in support of family farmers at eleven Farm Aid concerts


Awarded to Rhonda Perry and Roger Allison who represent the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, which works to organize against factory farms, and Patchwork Family Farms, a cooperative of family farm pork producers who represent the alternative to factory farm pork


Awarded to Ron Stern, who has been one of the producers of Farm Aid since its founding in 1985

2017 Spirit of Farm Aid Recipients

The first Spirit of Farm Aid award ceremony was at Farm Aid Eve on September 15, 2017, in Pittsburgh, PA, and the recipients were in three categories:


Awarded posthumously to Kathy Ozer, Executive Director of the National Family Farm Coalition, who expanded the movement for farmer justice to include the rights of farmworkers, the livelihoods of fisher-men and -women, and the broader fight for racial and social justice


Awarded to the illustrious composer and instrumentalist David Amram, who grew up in a farm community milking cows, and who has played as a special guest as part of Willie’s set at every Farm Aid concert


Awarded to Corky Jones, past President of the American Agriculture Movement, Nebraska farmer and voice for family farm agriculture

Photos of Spirit of Farm Aid Award Recipients

Click on the photos below to enlarge them.

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