As the end of September draws near, FARM AID is making its final
preparations for what promises to be a historical anniversary
concert. Telecast by TNN, Farm Aid's 10th Anniversary concert will
feature top new artists, Hootie and the Blowfish and the Dave
Matthews Band, as well as Farm Aid founders Willie Nelson, John
Mellencamp and Neil Young. Prior to the Anniversary concert, a
town hall meeting between agricultural officials and family farmers
has been scheduled. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, who will
attend the concert, has been invited to join farmers for the open
SECRETARY GLICKMAN TO ATTEND FARM AID: TOWN HALL MEETING
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman has accepted Farm Aid's
invitation to attend the 10th Anniversary concert. His presence at
the concert will help FARM AID shine a spotlight on the many
challenges facing family farmers. Secretary Glickman has also been
asked to join family farmers and other federal and local officials at a
Farm Aid town hall meeting.
In the tradition of FARM AID benefit shows, a town hall meeting has
been scheduled to precede the day-long concert. Beginning at 12:00
noon on October 1, town meeting participants will gather to discuss
"Agriculture at a Crossroads: Important issues affecting family
farmers and rural communities."
Invited panelists include Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman,
Senator Wendell Ford (KY), Senator Paul Wellstone (MN), Senator Bob
Kerrey (NE), Senator Tom Daschle (SD), Kentucky Agriculture
Secretary Ed Logsdon, and Wendell Berry, among others. Panelists
will make brief opening statements, followed by short presentations
and one minute statements/questions from the floor.
Family farm leaders from the National Family Farm Coalition,
Federation of Southern Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, and
others will have the opportunity to express their opinions about
issues such as the 1995 Farm Bill, sustainable agriculture, young
farmers, direct marketing, factory farming, and expanding the links
between consumers and family farmers.
The Farm Aid town hall meeting will be open to the public and
media. It will be held in Freedom Hall at Cardinal Stadium from
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Approximately 300 seats are available.
TNN TO AIR FARM AID CONCERT
The Nashville Network (TNN) will telecast a seven-hour FARM AID
special Monday, October 2, focusing on the 10th Anniversary concert
in Louisville. The seven-hour show will include new performances
by Farm Aid founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil
Young as well as outstanding moments from previous Farm Aid
concerts. This is the sixth time TNN has broadcast the show.
"TNN has always been supportive of Farm Aid's goal, which is
preserving the livelihood of American family farmers," said David
Hall, Sr. Vice President, Cable Networks, Gaylord Entertainment,
which owns TNN. "Family farms and the communities and businesses
which depend on them, are at the heart of America and important to
FARM AID Anniversary Special, October 2, 5 p.m. until midnight,
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND, JOHN CONLEE JOIN FARM AID'S HOT CONCERT
Top new group, the Dave Matthews Band, and Grand Ole Opry legend
John Conlee have been added to the all-star line up at FARM AID's
10th Anniversary Concert.
The Dave Matthews Band's RCA debut album "Under the Table and
Dreaming" went double platinum in 1995 and has resided in the
Billboard Top 25 of the Top 200 album chart for more than six
Kentucky native and co-founder of FARM AID John Conlee will also
perform at the October 1 concert. Conlee has recorded almost two
dozen chart-topping hits.
The performers join a star-studded roster that includes FARM AID
founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, as well as
Hootie and the Blowfish and rising country stars BlackHawk.
FARM GROUPS LAY PLANS FOR FUTURE
Family farm groups around the country are busy laying plans to
secure a future for America's food producers and their counterparts
on rural mainstreets. The following meetings will take place in
parallel with FARM AID's 10th Anniversary event:
The National Family Farm Coalition, a network of more than 35 farm
organizations, will hold a board meeting September 29-30 in
Nazareth, Kentucky to strategize on a long-term plan beyond the
1995 Farm Bill. For more information about NFFC contact Jane
Kochersperber, (202) 543-5675.
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives, a 28-year-old organization
dedicated to working with minority farmers, will hold a planning
meeting for its project and field staff September 30 in Louisville,
Kentucky. For more information about the Federation contact Ralph
Paige, (404) 524-6882.
FARM FACT: FARMERS SEE RISE IN LIVING EXPENSES
The importance of FARM AID concerts, and their ability to generate
support for America's family farmers continues to grow each year as
thousands of the nation's food producers leave their land. This year
is no different.
For example, a new study by the Illinois Cooperative Extension
Service found that cost-of-living expenses for Illinois grain farmers
rose 2.5 percent between 1993 and 1994. Average total living
expenses rose $1,001 per farm by the end of 1993, pushing the
average total of family expenses to over $41,200 for that year.
Meeting living expenses has become increasingly difficult for most
family farmers who are already struggling to pay for their
Annual cost-of-production numbers compiled by the Economic
Research Service, for example, show that wheat producers spent, on
average, $153.32 per acre in 1993 to pay for farming inputs,
including seeds, chemicals, machinery and labor. However, wheat
farmers earned on average, only $100.45 per acre in 1993.
The combination of increasing living expenses and high production
costs have forced more and more farm families to take off farm jobs.
CONCERT TICKETS AVAILABLE
Tickets for FARM AID's 10th Anniversary concert are still available.
For tickets call Ticketmaster, 1-800-487-1212. Tickets cost $25.00.
Farm Aid's 10th Anniversary Concert, Sunday, October 1, 4:00 p.m.
Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky.
We welcome comments and suggestions: contact Harry Smith at
FARM AID, (617) 354-2922. We encourage the reproduction of
FARM AID NEWS. Produced by The Institute for Agriculture and
Trade Policy (IATP) for FARM AID. Editors: Gigi DiGiacomo and
Harry Smith. For information on other agriculture bulletins, contact
IATP: (612) 379-5980.