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Willie Nelson answers questions during 2017 Farm Aid on September 16, 2017 in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. Matt Kincaid/Getty Images
GOOD FARM VIBES: Farm Aid president Willie Nelson answers questions at the 2017 Farm Aid show. Farm Aid concerts help fund many rural needs.

Farm Aid invests $50,000 in 8 eastern farm and food groups

September’s sold-out Farm Aid show returns $50,000 in grants to the region, $732,351 to other farm needs.

September’s Farm Aid music and food festival at Burgettstown, Pa., generated substantial revenue — revenue that feeds organizations working to build resilient systems of agriculture and food. This year, Farm Aid awarded $50,000 to eight programs in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia that support family farmers and help grow the Good Food Movement. Recipients included: 

• Appalachian Center for Economic Networks at Athens, Ohio, to provide livestock and specialty crop farmers in Appalachian Ohio with resources and assistance to reach new market opportunities.

• Fayette County Community Action Agency in Uniontown, Pa., to connect farmers and entrepreneurs and develop a productive farm and food business climate in 38 counties of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland.

• Grow Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pa., to support urban farmers, promote urban agriculture and remove barriers for people growing food in Pittsburgh and surrounding urban landscapes.

• Keystone Development Center in Ephrata, Pa., to provide technical assistance and business planning to Early Bird Farmers’ Cooperative, which markets certified organic eggs from member farms.

• Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association in Columbus, Ohio, to engage farmer leaders and advocates in the work of the 2018 Farm Bill;

• Organic Farmers Association in Kutztown, Pa., to mobilize its farmer members to establish and advocate its policy platform, influence policy in Washington, D.C., and begin to unify the national organic farmer network.

• Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture in Millheim, Pa., to develop and host farmer educational events, study sustainability indicators chosen by farmers, develop a Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship program and grow their Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program.

• West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition in Charleston, W.Va., to develop and advocate for local, state and federal policies that reflect the voices of the food and farm community and that support a resilient and equitable local food system. 

The greater effort
In 2017, Farm Aid granted $732,351 to 83 family farm, rural service and urban agriculture organizations in 34 states and the District of Columbia, plus more than 60 farmers and youth for leadership development and advocacy. Farm Aid also made grants to 297 farm families for emergency and natural disaster relief.

“Thanks to the continued generosity of supporters from across the country, today Farm Aid sends critical funds to hardworking organizations who share Farm Aid’s mission,” says Willie Nelson, president of Farm Aid. “Farm Aid grants strengthen the family farmers who are working to stay on their land and knit communities together by providing healthy food and an economic bedrock for rural and urban communities.” 

Earlier this year, Farm Aid granted $18,500 to farm and ranch families in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado who lost land, livestock, fences, buildings and equipment to wildfires. In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Farm Aid granted $114,500 to farm families in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who lost their crops, livestock, pasture, barns, equipment and other essentials to maintaining their livelihoods.

For a complete listing of Farm Aid’s 2017 grants, visit farmaid.org/2017grantees.

Source: Farm Aid

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