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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Farm Aid Distributes More Than $1 Million In 2019 Grants

December 18, 2019 GMT

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In the midst of the worst farm crisis since the 1980s, Farm Aid announced that it distributed more than $1 million in grant funding in 2019. Farm Aid prioritized organizations working to address challenges created by the dominant industrial agricultural system, which has pushed family farmers to the brink of extinction.

“Thanks to generous supporters from across the country, Farm Aid’s grants to grassroots farm and rural service groups will keep family farmers on the land,” said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. “Our goal is to create real change in our farm and food system, from the ground up. Farm Aid grantees strengthen family farmers, they build communities that can support each other in hard times, and they organize people to stand up and challenge corporate power in our food system. These are essential activities that benefit everyone — eaters and farmers.”

In 2019, Farm Aid distributed a total of $1,005,898, making grants to farm families and 95 family farm, rural service and urban agriculture organizations and giving scholarships to college students studying agriculture. Farm Aid grantees provide crisis support to farmers, build power in rural communities, develop resilient systems of farming, advance farmer-led solutions to climate change and fight the establishment or expansion of factory farms.

Earlier this year, Farm Aid granted $224,100 to assist farm and ranch families who suffered devastation after historic flooding in the Midwest and Texas. Farm Aid continues to work with partners in those regions to assess the long-term needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. Grants of $46,386 enabled farmers to participate in leadership trainings, policy advocacy and other gatherings where farmers’ perspectives are essential.

Emergency grants totaling $32,000 were made to farm families to cover essential household expenses. These emergency grants are recommended on a case-by-case basis by Farm Aid hotline managers who operate the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline and connect farmers with helpful services, resources and opportunities specific to their individual needs.

In 2019, Farm Aid’s granting priorities included work that is:

In Wisconsin, where Farm Aid held its annual music and food festival at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy this past September, Farm Aid invested $68,500 in 10 programs that met this year’s priorities. Awardees include:

In addition to the $68,500 in Wisconsin, Farm Aid invested $101,500 in 12 programs in four additional states in the Upper Midwest region, including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan.

In September 2019, Quincy Media Television stations in Wisconsin (WKOW, WAOW, WXOW, WQOW and KBJR) hosted an 18-hour telethon, raising nearly $47,000 to provide support, emergency relief and other resources for family farmers in Wisconsin and across the Upper Midwest, which Farm Aid distributed in its grant program.

Farm Aid’s grant-making is one aspect of its work to keep family farmers on the land, growing good food for all. In addition, other Farm Aid programs inspire an increased demand for family farm food; bring farmers, advocates and activists together for trainings and other opportunities; advocate for policies that serve farmers and consumers alike; and invite everyone to be part of building a thriving family farm system of agriculture.

For a complete listing of Farm Aid’s 2019 grant recipients, visit www.farmaid.org/2019grants.

Farm Aid welcomes donations at www.farmaid.org/donate.

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.

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