Press Releases | September 15, 2015

Food From Family Farms Stars at Farm Aid 30

September 15, 2015

Brittany Vanderpool

Food From Family Farms Stars at Farm Aid 30

Regional farmers and organizations bring hands-on experiences and distinctive flavors to all-day music and food festival

CHICAGO — Farm Aid 30, at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on Sept. 19, will bring together an all-star lineup and more than 26,000 fans to shine a spotlight on good food and family farmers. Farm Aid has invited Illinois farmers, businesses and organizations to offer concertgoers hands-on activities and experiences that showcase the stories of food and farming in Illinois and across the country. Local, regional and national farm groups will participate in Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village, engaging concertgoers with hands-on activities about the work family farmers do to protect our communities, our soil and water, and our health. Farm Aid also reached out to local farmers and businesses to source ingredients for HOMEGROWN Concessions®, partnering with Legends Hospitality, the concessionaire at the venue.

Information about the local flavor at Farm Aid 30:

  • HOMEGROWN Concessions® at Farm Aid 30 will bring concertgoers 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. Menu items include pizza topped with local produce, seasonal roasted non-GMO corn, pasture-raised turkey legs and pork BBQ. A salad will feature locally grown wheat berries and a rice bowl features local organic rice and heirloom Beaver Dam peppers. Desserts include local artisan baked goods and ice cream made with local milk and fair trade chocolate.

    Hospitality’s chefs are creating specialty menus for Farm Aid 30 that adhere to Farm Aid’s criteria. Specialty menu items include grilled chicken chipotle sausages, a grilled portobello mushroom burger, vegetarian nachos, a chicken banh mi sandwich, a Chicago-style burger, a Farm Aid 30 cookie and grilled chicken sandwiches.
  • HOMEGROWN Youthmarket will sell apples, pears, grapes, dried cherries and more. The Youthmarket will include fresh baked zucchini bread prepared by students from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. Chicago youth involved in urban agriculture will conduct sales at the stand.
  • Farm Aid 30 beverages will feature Chicago craft beers, organic wines and Bella Beez sparkling honey water made from Chicago honey.
  • Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village (from noon to 5:30 p.m.) will feature hands-on activities that give concertgoers a chance to meet farmers, dig in and learn about the ways family farmers are growing good food for all of us. From jumbo Jenga food and farming trivia to learning about community-based biodiesel production, creating seed balls and painting murals, concertgoers can discover the roots of their food and how agriculture affects all of us.
  • In the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent, concertgoers can engage with food, farming and crafting through workshops that allow them to churn butter, culture kefir, make paper from prairie grass, learn about urban foraging and make kimchi.
  • Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Concessions® food service promotes a zero-waste food service 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, and compostables, such as food waste and compostable food service ware. All of the service ware will be compostable and Waste Management, in charge of waste disposal at the venue, will take compost to the Harbor View Compost Facility.
  • Local Illinois farms and farmers will be featured on the video screen on the main stage. Farm Aid worked with a number of photographers to shoot and obtain photos to reflect the farmers and agriculture of Illinois and the nation, including Chicago’s Paul Natkin, who has photographed all of the Farm Aid concerts to date, Patty O’Brien of Pennsylvania and Audra Mulkern, a farm-to-table documentarian currently working on The Female Farmer Project, which documents the rise of women in farming.
  • Farm Aid 30 T-shirts are made with organic cotton, with many T-shirts donated by Chipotle and by Econscious.

Additional Farm Aid 30 details for concertgoers and fans tuning in at home:

  • Farm Aid 30 will feature performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews — with Tim Reynolds — as well as Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Mavis Staples, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jamey Johnson, Holly Williams, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs Robots, Ian Mellencamp and Blackwood Quartet.
  • The webcast, “Farm Aid 30 Live Presented by Amy’swill broadcast from 2:30 to 11:30 p.m. CDT at
  • Willie Nelson’s SiriusXM channel (59), Willie’s Roadhouse, will air live from Farm Aid 30, beginning at 12 p.m. CDT. SiriusXM’s Dallas Wayne will host backstage interviews and behind-thescenes 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 30 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.
  • Farm Aid’s #Road2FarmAid social media campaign is off and running on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Social media users are including the #Road2FarmAid tag on posts to connect with people who are celebrating family farm agriculture and growing the Good Food Movement.

Sponsors of Farm Aid 30 include Amy’s Kitchen, Horizon Organic, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Applegate, Canidae® Natural Pet Food Company, Greener Fields Together, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Organic Valley, FirstMerit Bank, Whole Foods Market, Rudi’s Organic Bakery and Time Out Chicago. HOMEGROWN Catering by The Goddess and Grocer will include the following donors: Amy’s Kitchen, Horizon Organic/WhiteWave Foods, Organic Valley/Organic Prairie, Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Goodness Greeness, Midwest Foods, Gunthorp Farms, Dark Matter Coffee, Applegate, Lundberg Family Farms, Hewn Bakery, Patchwork Family Farms, HippocraTeas, Tanka Bar, Allgood Provisions, Equal Exchange, Bella Beez, Tsamma Juice, Uncle Matt’s Organic, Green Sheep Water, Frontier Natural Products Co-op and Runge/PrimeWare.

Tickets for Farm Aid 30 are available for purchase at, the venue box office and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Ticket prices range from $49.50 to $189.50. A limited number of tickets remains.

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 concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised $48 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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