Farm Aid News and Views July/Aug 1997
FARM AID NEWS & VIEWS
Volume 5, No. 7
- FARM AID '97 COMING TO DALLAS, TEXAS OCTOBER 4,
- FARM AID SUPPORTS TEXAS FARM PROJECTS
- FARMER TO FARMER HAYLIFT GIVES HELPING HAND TO
- FARM AID SUPPORTS INNOVATIVE TEXAS FARMERS'
- TEXAS FARM FACTS
- FARM AID SUPPORTS DISASTER-STRICKEN FARMERS IN
THE NORTHERN PLAINS
- DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF FUNDING PROPOSALS
TO FARM AID
FARM AID '97 COMING TO DALLAS, TEXAS OCTOBER 4, 1997
The Farm Aid T97 benefit concert for the American family farmer
is headed for Dallas, Texas on October 4, 1997 at Texas Stadium.
The all-day musical event will feature Farm Aid founders Willie
Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, as well as Dave
Matthews Band, John Fogerty and the Allman Brothers Band. It
will also include special performances by John Conlee, Ricky
Skaggs, Joe Ely, Asleep at the Wheel and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.
Additional artists will be announced.
"Farm Aid is proud and grateful for the support of these talented
artists in the struggle to save America's family farmers," said
Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. "Farm Aid T97 will offer
music fans a unique opportunity to see top artists from a variety
of musical styles playing together on the same stage."
Tickets for the show will go on sale Saturday, Aug. 9 at 10 a.m.
CDT. Tickets are $50, $30 and $17.50 (plus a service charge) and
will be available through local Ticketmaster outlets.
TNN: The Nashville Network will air Farm Aid '97 as a live six-
hour special from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. CDT on Saturday, October 4.
Farm Aid was founded in 1985 by Nelson, Mellencamp, Young
and Conlee to raise public awareness about the plight of the
American family farmer and to provide assistance to those
families whose livelihood depends on agriculture. In the past 12
years, Farm Aid has granted more than $13 million to over 100
farm organizations, churches and service agencies in 44 states.
FARM AID SUPPORTS TEXAS FARM PROJECTS
Since 1985, Farm Aid has granted $353,000 to farm and rural
projects in Texas. Funding has been geared toward both
emergency relief for farm families in need and the development
of long-term solutions to promote a family farm system of
agriculture. Here are a couple of examples of Farm Aid funds in
FARMER TO FARMER HAYLIFT GIVES HELPING HAND TO
In the summer of 1996, thousands of Texas farmers were pushed
to the brink of financial ruin by a devastating drought. Katie
Worthy, an 89-year-old dairy farmer from Corsicana, Texas was
one of them. Last fall, with winter fast approaching, Worthy was
faced with a ruined hay crop and no ability to feed her herd of
100 dairy cows through the winter.
On the day before Thanksgiving, farmers from Kentucky rolled
up to Worthy's farm with two truckloads of donated hay, part of
Farm Aid's Farmer to Farmer haylift effort. Farmers from across
the country donated over 200 tons of hay to help more than 100
Texas farmers like Katie Worthy feed their cattle and hold on to
Farm Aid teamed up with farm and service organizations in
Texas to make sure the hay reached those families who needed it
most. Farm Aid identified farmers in other states with hay to
donate and arranged transportation of the hay to Texas, with the
help of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Texas
Farmers Union set up a hay hotline for farmers to call to request
donated hay or other emergency assistance. Lutheran Social
Services of the South coordinated the delivery of hay when it
arrived in Texas, ensuring that the hay reached the neediest
FARM AID SUPPORTS INNOVATIVE TEXAS FARMERS'
The Sustainable Food Center, based in Austin, Texas, promotes
community food security by developing direct marketing
projects that link local farmers with restaurants, groceries, and
farmers' markets. With a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work,
the Sustainable Food Center has developed five successful
farmers' markets in low-income neighborhoods in Austin.
According to Kate Fitzgerald, Executive Director, there are
multiple goals of the program. "We aim to provide affordable
foods in the neighborhood and to create jobs that provide an
opportunity for young people to get out of the rough track
they're in. We are also setting an example for urban planners
that farming can work in the city, and providing a model of a
financially viable small-scale farm."
One of the biggest problems for residents in the Eastside
neighborhoods has been lack of access to stores which sell fresh
produce. The farmers' markets have been very successful on
many fronts -- supporting local agriculture, supplying healthy
and nutritious food to the community and providing
opportunities for inner-city youth.
The farmers' markets are supplied with produce grown on local
farms, including the Food Center's own farm. The markets
provide an outlet for the farmers to sell their produce while also
providing residents with a convenient place to purchase fresh
vegetables. Teenagers work on the farm and help with the
management of the farmers' markets.
One of the key factors in the financial success of the program,
says Fitzgerald, is diversified marketing. In addition to the
farmers' markets, the Food Center sells some of its more exotic
produce, such as squash blossoms and Japanese eggplant, to local
upscale restaurants. The sales of higher-priced produce allow
the farm to keep the price down for the low-income residents.
TEXAS FARM FACTS
*Texas has approximately 205,000 farms.
*Since 1992 the number of farms with over $10,000 in sales has
dropped from 76,000 to 72,000 -- a loss of 19 farms each week.
*Texas has 127 million acres of farm land which is 75% of the
total land area in the state
*Texas has lost 3 million acres of farm land since 1992.
*90% of Texas farms are owned and operated by families or
*90% of Texas farms have sales of less than $100,000.
*The average Texas farmer is 56 years old.
*Cattle and calves account for half of the state's agricultural
receipts. Cotton accounts for 12.5%.
*149,000 of all farms in the state are cattle operations.
*Texas ranks among the top 5 states in the production of fresh
Farming and Jobs
*In 1993, farming and related industries accounted for 28% of
employment in Texas rural areas.
*In 1990, 23.4% of Texas rural residents lived below the poverty
*1995 Texas Agricultural Statistics, Texas Agricultural Statistics
*Texas Fact Sheet, April 1997, Economic Research Service, USDA
FARM AID SUPPORTS DISASTER-STRICKEN FARMERS IN
THE NORTHERN PLAINS
Images of the flooding in North and South Dakota dominated
the news last spring as thousands of families saw their homes
and possessions swept away before their eyes. As fall approaches,
the TV cameras are gone and families are trying to rebuild their
Farm Aid has stepped in to provide assistance to farm and rural
families whose plight was largely overlooked by the national
media. In South Dakota alone, more than 350,000 head of
livestock died due to blizzards and flooding, while 2.5 million
acres of crop land were flooded. A disturbing number of suicides
involving farm and ranch families have also been reported.
Thanks to the outpouring of public support, Farm Aid was able
to raise and distribute $40,000 to provide emergency assistance
and long-term support to flood-ravaged rural areas. After Fox
After Breakfast and The Today Show publicized our 1-800-FARM
AID number, hundreds of people called in to donate to our
Family Farm Disaster Fund.
The money has been distributed through farm and service
organizations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota to
ensure that the funds reach those families most in need. In
addition to emergency assistance, Farm Aid supports mental
health hotlines to help farm families deal with the emotional
stress caused by the disaster. Farm Aid funds will provide
funding for volunteer efforts to put up new fencing and repair
James Barclay, President of Lutheran Disaster Response in South
Dakota, says, "Lutheran Disaster Response is grateful to have
Farm Aid as a partner in providing relief for farm and ranch
families in South Dakota. Together, with donors and volunteers
from across the country, we can provide hope and support
during their long road to recovery."
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF FUNDING PROPOSALS TO
Following the October 4 concert, there will be a grant round for
all proposals pending at that time.
If your organization would like to be considered for funding in
the post-concert grant cycle, the deadline for submission of grant
proposals is Friday, September 12, 1997. You will receive a letter
acknowledging receipt of the proposal and requesting any
information necessary to complete the application.
If your group received a grant from Farm Aid in 1996, you must
include with your 1997 proposal a narrative and financial report
on the 1996 grant. We will not consider proposals from any
organizations with outstanding grant reports.
Decisions on our post-concert grant round will be made in early
If you do not have a copy of Farm Aid's grant guidelines, call the
Farm Aid office and we will send you a copy.
Please do not send proposals by fax or e-mail.
Farm Aid News & Views is produced by Farm Aid. Editors
Harry Smith and Lynn Rosenbaum. We encourage the
reproduction of Farm Aid News & Views. Comments and
suggestions welcome. Farm Aid (617) 354-2922. Fax:
(617) 354-6992. Email: Farmaid1@aol.com.