National farm crisis spurs Farm Aid’s return to Wisconsin

Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews to headline Farm Aid 2019 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI

Underscoring the severe crisis in farm country, Farm Aid’s annual music and food festival will return to the heart of dairy country on Saturday, September 21st at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, July 12th at 10 am CDT.

Featuring family farmers, the good food they produce and inspiring music, Farm Aid 2019 will include performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Bonnie Raitt, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Margo Price, Jamey Johnson, Tanya Tucker, Brothers Osborne, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Yola, and Particle Kid. Additional artists will be announced later this summer.

This year, the organization stages Farm Aid 2019 in an economic climate similar to the one that sparked the first Farm Aid concert in 1985. Median farm income is expected to be -$1,449 in 2019, and while net farm income in 2019 is projected to be 8% higher than prior year levels, it will remain among the bottom 25% of all time. Farmer stress also is growing, with the risk of depression and suicide among people working in agriculture increasing as compared to the general population. Calls to Farm Aid’s farmer hotline have borne this out, with a 109% increase in calls in 2018.

“With devastating weather, low prices and harmful farm and trade policies, America’s family farmers are facing immense challenges to hold on to their farms. It’s not right … family farmers are essential for all of us,” Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson says. “By bringing our festival to the heart of the struggle, we will stand side by side with farmers. At Farm Aid 2019, we’ll highlight solutions and show our support for family farmers’ contributions to our health, economy and environment.”

Wisconsin, often referred to as “America’s Dairyland,” is one of the nation’s leading dairy producers, particularly known for its cheese. The Wisconsin dairy industry generates $43.4 billion each year, fueling the state’s economy at a rate of more than $80,000 per minute. While the dairy industry benefits the economy and culture of Wisconsin, dairy farmers are struggling, with the state losing nearly 700 dairy farms in 2018 alone.

Overall, Wisconsin agriculture is extremely diverse with livestock, row crop and vegetable production also popular in the state. Wisconsin is second behind California for number of organic farms and has a strong direct market movement. Farm to School and urban agriculture programs support a strong connection among urban cities and rural communities.

The annual Farm Aid festival is a unique experience for all the senses. Farm Aid 2019 will serve Homegrown Concessions, which will showcase family farm-sourced ingredients at all the festival’s food stands including the Homegrown Youthmarket, a farm stand operated by youth involved in farming and farmers markets. Homegrown Concessions utilizes compostable serviceware, with a goal of zero waste. Farm Aid’s Homegrown Village features hands-on activities about soil, water, energy, food and farming. Festivalgoers can hear farmers and artists discuss pressing issues and share inspiring stories on the FarmYard Stage, as well as attend demonstrations to learn agrarian skills and celebrate the culture of agriculture in the Homegrown Skills tent.

Tickets for Farm Aid 2019 will go on sale Friday, July 12th at 10 am CDT. Ticket prices range from $54.50 to $249.50 and will be available for purchase at LiveNation.com. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be made available for sale beginning at 10 am CDT on Wednesday, July 10th at farmaid.org/festival.

Farm Aid is teaming up with IfOnly to offer a collection of incredible items and experiences, from behind-the-scenes tours and VIP ticket packages to signed memorabilia from this year’s artists. People can purchase and bid on these special offerings starting July 9th ifonly.com/FarmAid.

Farm Aid 2019 sponsors include Patagonia Workwear, Shenandoah Valley Organic, Horizon Organic, and Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs. Farm Aid welcomes the participation of the business community and offers corporate sponsorship and VIP hospitality opportunities.

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 $57 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.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.

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