Farmers and Advocates Gather at Farm Aid in Chicago


OFRF’s Executive Director Brise Tencer has just returned from Chicago, IL, where she attended the longest-running concert for a cause in America: Farm Aid’s 30th anniversary. The event continues what began as a one-off benefit concert in 1985, and the relevance of the message still rings clear today: we need to support justice, democracy, diversity, and sustainability in the food system. 

The gathering included pre-concert sessions on what it means to be a farm advocate, how we can continue to use grassroots organizing power to yield policy gains, and how to engage mentors to strengthen networks and achieve lasting change.

Neil Young spoke passionately about supporting the cause, stating: “That’s the key thing. If you’re buying organic you’re supporting the movement. If you buy something and you don’t know what’s in it, believe me you’re not supporting the family farmer, you are supporting GMO’s. You’re supporting Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow.” 

We enjoyed the opportunity to attend the 30th Farm Aid gathering and connect with farmers and impassioned advocates. It is inspiring to see the awesome work that Farm Aid does each year through this event, with many world renowned performers and with the opportunity for advocates to gather and strengthen the future of the food system. We are so grateful for the support that Farm Aid provides OFRF and other advocacy organizations throughout the year. Rock on!