The 2013 Farm Aid concert will be webcast from Saratoga Springs in upstate New York this coming Saturday, September 21st from 5:00PM-11:00PM. The concert is completely sold-out, with all of the seats inside the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) amphitheater selling out in under 11 minutes and 20,000 general admission lawn tickets sold out a week later. But if you can’t be in Saratoga Springs for the concert, the live webcast from Saratoga Springs on Saturday will enable viewers to enjoy the inspirational day of music and praise for the American family farm.
The concert lineup includes legendary Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson. Also to be featured in Saratoga Springs are Amos Lee, Kacey Musgraves, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Bahamas, Carlene Carter and Pegi Young & The Survivors.
Since its beginning nearly 30 years ago, Farm Aid has raised more than $43 million to strengthen the family farm system of agriculture and keep farm families on their land. In addition, back in 2008, Farm Aid founded Homegrown.org, described as “an online community of people interested in all things HOMEGROWN: growing, cooking, crafting, preserving, building, making and creating.”
Sociologist Christopher Henke, in his analysis of industrial agriculture in California’s Salinas Valley (Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power- Science and Industrial Agriculture in California) observed there has been a “great hollowing” of American agriculture: “The slogan ‘get big or get out’ defines farming in many sectors, and the result has been not the preservation of farming communities but instead a great hollowing.”
At the beginning of the 20th century, 50% of the U.S. workforce was in farming, today it’s less than 2%. Farm Aid and Homegrown.org provide hope for the future of the family farm. This weekend’s concert is a time to praise the hard-working 2%, which includes an increasing number of small farmers who grow our food with a commitment to a sustainable agriculture that cares for people and community-building, animals, land and water.
[Frank W. Barrie, 9/18/13]