This past weekend, some of Rock and Roll’s finest musicians and over 35,000 fans joined together at Milwaukee’s Miller Park for the 25th annual Farm Aid concert.
Before this year’s concert founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp held a press conference where they reiterated the motivation for creating this tradition with roots a quarter of a century old: providing support for sustainable family farms.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Nelson said, “We should be interested in knowing where our food comes from. If it comes from soil that is organic, that is grown by our family farmers, we know that it’s more healthy than the food grown by big corporations that saturate the soil with chemicals and pesticides and fertilizers.”
Later, Young made a speech from stage that earned him a standing ovation.
“Maybe you don’t realize what’s really going on with factory farms in this country, how they are displacing family farms at an alarming rate. Factory farms are the reason why we have food alerts. They are the reason why we have dying people and disease. Try to buy something from a family farm, something that’s sustainably grown. You deserve the best. Your children deserve the best”
Dan Conroe, HeadCount’s Regional Coordinator of the Upper Midwest, led a team of great volunteers at the event. Dan said, “It’s rare to see musicians speaking so passionately from the stage about a cause like saving family farms, but their message was well received by the fans. Many people stopped by the HeadCount table and were eager to take action.” Dan and company were registering voters as well as getting attendees to Pledge to Vote. He added, “It didn’t hurt that they could also sign up to receive a phone call from Willie Nelson reminding them to get to the polls!”
Other notable acts at this all day concert for a cause included the Dave Matthews Band, Jeff Tweedy, Kenny Chesney, Norah Jones, Jason Mraz and Band of Horses.
Check out our Food & Farm Policy Issue Page for updates like this. All photos courtesy of Dan Conroe.