Upfront of the annual Farm Aid profit live performance for household farmers in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday (Sept. 24), the group revealed plans for “a significant farmer mobilization in Washington” in March 2023 to advocate for federal help of local weather resilient agriculture.
The march set for the week of March 6 can be “a mobilization the likes of which we now have not seen because the Nineteen Seventies, tentatively known as Farmers for Local weather, a rally for resilience,” introduced Farm Aid cultural affect director Michael Stewart Foley throughout a live-streamed press convention that preceded the live performance on the Coastal Credit score Union Music Park at Walnut Creek.
Farm Assist co-founder and board member John Mellencamp, taking part within the press convention, recalled when “[Willie Nelson] and I made the hassle” to testify earlier than a Congressional subcommittee within the Nineteen Eighties on behalf of household farmers. And he left satisfied that “the federal government … doesn’t care about you, doesn’t care about something however greed.”
“So it’s going to take good individuals such as you,” Mellencamp informed the viewers of farmers and activists on the pre-concert occasion. “I’m going to come back to Washington, D.C., as a result of politics at present in the US has gotten up to now out of hand. We’ll get a college bus and we’ll all go down collectively.”
The mobilization plan outcomes from discussions amongst “a coalition of 35 farm, meals, local weather [and] social justice organizations which are actively engaged on this,” stated Foley, citing Farm Assist’s alliance with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
“Farm Assist hears farmer’s voices virtually daily all 12 months lengthy,” he stated. “What we want for the Congress to listen to these voices. It’s particularly vital now as a result of Congress is beginning to draft the subsequent Farm Invoice.” That laws, handed each 5 years, determines federal funding of an enormous array of agricultural applications.
“Congress must get the message that farmers are relying on a Farm Invoice that delivers local weather options — local weather options that middle racial justice, that deal with on-farm local weather challenges and prioritize what works for household farmers,” Foley stated.
“So to be sure that Congress will get this message, farmers are going to ship it in individual, peacefully, I’d add,” Foley stated. “Over three days the week of March 6, farmers are going to march, they’ll rally — and we will probably be there with them. There will probably be music. We hope a number of the artists who come to Farm Assist yearly will be part of us.”
An earlier period of activism by household farmers, who had been going through foreclosures, resulted in “tractor-cades” on state capitals nationwide in late 1977, adopted in early 1978 by an indication that drew an estimated 50,000 farmers to Washington. One of many leaders of that motion, longtime Farm Assist supporter David Senter, was within the viewers as Foley made his announcement.