Press Releases | September 11, 2017

Farm Aid 2017 Shines a Spotlight on Local Heroes

September 11, 2017

Brittany Vanderpool

Farm Aid to Host Homegrown Prosperity Meeting Celebrating the Good Food That Connects Us All

Regional Farms, Businesses and Organizations Bring Local Flavors to All-Day Music Festival

PITTSBURGH — Farm Aid 2017, at KeyBank Pavilion on Saturday, Sept. 16, will bring together an all-star music lineup and 23,000 fans to shine a spotlight on good food and family farmers.

Farm Aid has partnered Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia area farmers, businesses and organizations to offer festivalgoers hands-on activities and experiences that showcase the stories of food and farming in the region and across the country. Local, regional and national farm groups will participate in Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village, engaging festivalgoers with activities about the work family farmers do to protect our communities, soil and water, and to make sure that everyone has access to fresh, healthy food. Farm Aid sources ingredients from local farmers and businesses for HOMEGROWN Concessions® and HOMEGROWN Catering. 

Information about the local flavor at Farm Aid 2017:

  • HOMEGROWN Concessions® will serve family farm-sourced foods that conform to its criteria: food that is sustainably produced by family farmers utilizing ecological practices with a commitment to a fair price for farmers.
  • Festivalgoers will enjoy menu items sourced from local area farms, including To-Jo Mushrooms, Clarion River Organics, Yarnick’s Farm and Greenhouses, Dawson’s Orchards, Redrange Farm, Turner Dairy, Brunton Dairy, Weatherbury Farm and Footprint Farms — and local food businesses like Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company, Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette, Republic Food Enterprise Center, Lake to River Food Co-op, Frankferd Farms, Reist Popcorn, Reed & Co., Zeke’s Coffee and A Taste for Something Moore.
  • Legends Hospitality chefs created specialty menus for Farm Aid 2017 that adhere to Farm Aid’s criteria, including Certified Humane pork sausages with toppings made from local produce; an organic soba noodle salad; a rice, greens and beans bowl; hot dogs with toppings including local sauerkraut; local portabella mushroom burgers; organic sweet potato salad with local goat cheese; and local candied apples. Two “Fresh Store” stands will vend farm fresh salads and local cheeses from Goat Rodeo Dairy, pickles, pickled local eggs and baguettes made with local, organic flour.
  • HOMEGROWN Youthmarket, a farm stand staffed by local youth from Grow Pittsburgh and the Grange, will sell fresh local fruit sourced from Lake to River Food Co-op, including apples, plums, pears and peaches from Huffman Fruit Farm and organic kiwi berries from Kiwi Korners Farm.
  • Beverages at the venue will feature Bonterra Organic Vineyards and local craft beers. Craft ciders will be featured at the PA Preferred stand.
  • Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village (from noon to 5:30 p.m.) will feature hands-on activities that give festivalgoers a chance to meet farmers, dig in and learn about the ways farmers enrich our soil, protect our water, grow our economy and bring us good food for good health. In the Village, festivalgoers can design their own yard and calculate the carbon savings of growing food instead of lawns; learn masonry skills to build walls with Pennsylvania’s new crop, hemp; and get up close and personal with the microbes that live in healthy organic soil.
  • In the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent, festivalgoers can learn how to make compost, amend soils, transform hemp stalks into paper, ferment pickles, make pollinator-friendly seed balls and learn about seed saving.
  • Pittsburgh Public Radio has partnered with Farm Aid this year to host the FarmYard Stage, located in the HOMEGROWN Village. Throughout the day, Julie Grant and Kara Holsopple, hosts of The Allegheny Front, an award-winning public radio program covering environmental issues in Western Pennsylvania, will moderate live briefings from artists and farmers on important issues in food and farming.
  • Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Concessions® food service promotes a zero-waste protocol. All compostable waste at the concert will be turned into valuable agricultural material to improve the health of the soil. A sizeable volunteer effort will be on hand to help concertgoers differentiate between landfill-bound trash, recyclables (like plastic or aluminum) and compostables, such as food waste and compostable food serviceware. AgRecycle will haul and process serviceware and food scraps to create compost to sustain soil and future crops.
  • 412 Food Rescue will coordinate the rescue of leftover food from Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Catering. All leftover food will be donated to a public housing complex in Washington County. This rescue will be the first in area code 724, officially launching the organization’s expansion.
  • Parkhurst Dining is providing catering services for artists, crew and VIP guests with food sourced from local farms as well as from generous donors, including Eco-Products, Paper Products Company, Rotella Bakery, Pete and Gerry’s, Spindrift, Frontier Co-op, Shenandoah Valley Organic, Lundberg Family Farms, Applegate Farms, Uncle Matt’s Organic, Grandy Oats, Parkhurst Dining, Nature’s Path, Theo Chocolate, Horizon Organic, Red Jacket Orchards, Milky Way Farms, Pittsburgh Ice Cream, OKE USA Fruit Company, East End Food Co-op, Tyler Mountain Water and Patchwork Family Farms. Culinary students from Bidwell Training Center will volunteer in the catering operation.
  • Farm Aid is partnering with the Greater Washington County Food Bank to collect nonperishable food items from concertgoers at the main entrances to KeyBank Pavilion. Food donations will support the more than 25,000 people in Washington County who are food insecure. The greatest need is for food items that can be used in school lunch sacks and after school programs. Concertgoers can bring nonperishable food items that are in boxes, cans or plastic bottles (no glass).
  • Local Western Pennsylvania farms and farmers will be featured on the video screen on the main stage. Farm Aid worked with a number of photographers to obtain photos to reflect the farmers and agriculture in the region and nation. Featured photographers include Patty O’Brien of Summer Crow Photos in Pennsylvania; Sabine Carey, a Pennsylvania farmer and photographer; and Lise Metzger of Virginia, who documents the rise of female farmers through her project Grounded Women.
  • Farm Aid 2017 event T-shirts are made in the U.S.A. from organic cotton, including cotton from Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative.
  • Flowers, straw bales and pumpkin décor will be sourced from Bedner’s Farm and Greenhouse and from Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance.

Additional Farm Aid 2017 details for festivalgoers and fans tuning in at home:

  • Farm Aid 2017 will feature performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Jamey Johnson, Margo Price, Blackberry Smoke, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Valerie June, Insects vs Robots and Blackwood Quartet.
  • AXS TV will broadcast Farm Aid 2017 live beginning at 7 p.m. EDT. To find AXS TV in your area, visit The Farm Aid 2017 webcast at will begin at 3 p.m. EDT.
  • Willie Nelson’s SiriusXM channel (59), Willie’s Roadhouse, will air live from Farm Aid 2017, beginning at 12 p.m. EDT. SiriusXM’s Dallas Wayne will host backstage interviews and behind-the-scenes coverage of the event.
  • The Farm Aid official festival app is available for iPhone and Android devices. It allows users to view the entire Farm Aid 2017 schedule and select artists, workshops and artist briefings to make their own personal schedule for the day. Users can find out where they’re going with the festival map, check out the HOMEGROWN Concessions® food and drink offerings, read about the hands-on activities in the HOMEGROWN Village and learn about Farm Aid’s Farmer Heroes. Users also can post photos, tweet and share their Farm Aid experience with their friends through the app.

Participating food company sponsors of HOMEGROWN Concessions® include Lundberg Family Farms and Frontier Co-op. Additional sponsors of Farm Aid 2017 include Bonterra Organic Vineyards, UPMC Health Plan, Horizon Organic, Applegate Farms, Lagunitas, PA Preferred, ASPCA and Organic Valley.

For event updates, follow Farm Aid on Twitter (@FarmAid), Facebook ( and Instagram (, and visit Festivalgoers are encouraged to use the hashtags #FarmAid2017 and #Road2FarmAid to join the conversation on social media around this year’s show.

Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For more than 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $50 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

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