It’s a long ways from Nashville, but it’s always for a good cause. Underscoring the severe crisis in farm country, Farm Aid’s annual music and food festival will return to the heart of dairy country on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, July 12, at 10 a.m. CDT.
Featuring family farmers, the good food they produce and inspiring music, Farm Aid 2019 will include performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Bonnie Raitt, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Margo Price, Jamey Johnson, Tanya Tucker, Brothers Osborne, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Yola, and Particle Kid. Additional artists will be announced later this summer.
This year, the organization stages Farm Aid 2019 in an economic climate similar to the one that sparked the first Farm Aid concert in 1985. Median farm income is expected to be -$1,449 in 2019, and while net farm income in 2019 is projected to be 8% higher than prior year levels, it will remain among the bottom 25% of all time. Farmer stress also is growing, with the risk of depression and suicide among people working in agriculture increasing as compared to the general population. Calls to Farm Aid’s farmer hotline have borne this out, with a 109 % increase in calls in 2018.
“With devastating weather, low prices and harmful farm and trade policies, America’s family farmers are facing immense challenges to hold on to their farms . It’s not right … family farmers are essential for all of us , ” Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson said.” By bringing our festival to the heart of the struggle, we will stand side by side with farmers. At Farm Aid 2019, we’ll highlight solutions and show our support for family farmers’ contributions to our health, economy and environment.”
Wisconsin, often referred to as “America’s Dairyland,” is one of the nation’s leading dairy producers, particularly known for its cheese. The Wisconsin dairy industry generates $43.4 billion each year, fueling the state’s economy at a rate of more than $80,000 per minute. While the dairy industry benefits the economy and culture of Wisconsin, dairy farmers are struggling, with the state losing nearly 700 dairy farms in 2018 alone.
Overall, Wisconsin agriculture is extremely diverse with livestock, row crop and vegetable production also popular in the state. Wisconsin is second behind California for number of organic farms and has a strong direct market movement. Farm to School and urban agriculture programs support a strong connection among urban cities and rural communities.
Tickets for Farm Aid 2019 will go on sale Friday, July 12, at 10 a.m. CDT. Ticket prices range from $54.50 to $249.50 and will be available for purchase at LiveNation.com. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be made available for sale beginning at 10 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, July 10, at farmaid.org/festival.
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