Farm Aid’s mission is to keep family farmers on the land in order to guarantee an agricultural system that ensures farmers a fair living, strengthens our communities, protects our natural resources and delivers good food for all.
Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 near the height of the farm crisis to generate awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001.
Through the annual Farm Aid concert and our day-to-day work, Farm Aid has brought cultural change to our food system and raised more than $40 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. With music as our inspiration and farmers as our heroes, Farm Aid envisions a transformed America in which family farmers and eaters are partners in a thriving farm and food system that benefits all.
Farm Aid on Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering (GE) poses serious threats to farmer livelihoods, biodiversity and food democracy.
Farmers have a right to access and save non-GE seeds and to be able to grow their crops without fear of contamination. At the other end of the food chain, food consumers have the right to know what’s in their food, how it’s produced and to make informed purchasing decisions. The current regulatory framework overseeing GE violates these basic rights for farmers and eaters.
Farm Aid avoids GE food in our HOMEGROWN Concessions® at our concerts. We support mandatory labeling of GE ingredients so that our food system is more transparent and eaters can make informed decisions about the food they eat. We also advocate for anti-trust enforcement to combat corporate control in the seed sector, and a regulatory framework that holds the seed companies responsible for GE contamination.