Willie Nelson at Farm Aid 2019
Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images
Willie Nelson’s “At Home With Farm Aid” Raises $500k+ For Family Farmers
Last Saturday, April 11, GRAMMY-winning outlaw country legend Willie Nelson hosted the “At Home With Farm Aid” benefit concert through his co-founded nonprofit organization Farm Aid, in order to bolster support and funds for farmers and ranchers who are facing strain and uncertainty amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a Billboard report, the virtual benefit amassed over $500,000 in proceeds for essential farm and ranch workers and their families. The show was hosted by Nelson in collaboration with his sons Micah and Lukas, and saw performances from GRAMMY-winners including Farm Aid board member Dave Matthews, Neil Young and John Mellencamp.
Our live music event on Saturday, #AtHomeWithFarmAid, raised $500,000 to support our effort to strengthen family farmers and ranchers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you!https://t.co/SpLGL2gyoW pic.twitter.com/jcKtXgkM8H
— Farm Aid (@FarmAid) April 13, 2020
Commenting on the current crisis and efforts to mobilize around it, Nelson said in a statement “The coronavirus has disrupted our entire country and is a grave threat to all of us. One of its many impacts is that it has helped us to better see the value of essential people like healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, delivery truck drivers, and farmers and ranchers.” He continued, "We are here now to support farmers and ranchers in this crisis, without whom we could not eat. The time to build a resilient family farm food system is now!"
The organization followed the sentiment in a post-concert statement, saying “Farm Aid is proud to invest in our farm and food system, from farm to plate, and take care of the farmers and ranchers who are providing essential services by feeding their communities.”
Proceeds gathered during the virtual event will be distributed and invested into farmer-led solutions in response to COVID-19. Support will go to things like emergency grants, pooling of resources for the national Farm Aid network, support of additional local, state and national farming organizations and a hotline (1-800-FARM-AID), which will be used to help connect farmers to legal, financial and mental health support systems as they navigate this crisis.
The first Farm Aid concert was officially organized by Nelson and Mellencamp in 1985. The collective leans its efforts towards supporting America’s essential family farmers and ranchers and keeping them on land through “great music, supporting farmers, and strengthening America.”
For more information on supporting farm and ranch workers during this time of uncertainty through donations to the Farm Aid, you can visit the organization here.