Farm Aid marks 35th anniversary with virtual festival


DES MOINES, Iowa (NewsNation Now) — Farm Aid is marking its 35th anniversary with a virtual festival Saturday.

The annual music and food festival was first organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young back in 1985 to help keep farmers on their land and raise awareness about family farm loss. The first concert was held in Champaign, Illinois.

Nelson, Mellencamp and Young are headlining this year’s virtual festival, along with Dave Matthews, Norah Jones, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Margo Price and Nathaniel Rateliff.

“This pandemic and so many other challenges have revealed how essential family farmers and ranchers are to the future of our planet,” Willie Nelson said in a statement. “Farm Aid 2020 is going to give the whole country a chance to learn about the important work of farmers and how they’re contributing to our well-being, beyond bringing us good food.”

The organization has raised nearly $60 million to help strengthen family farm agriculture.

The festival kicks off Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, and will stream live on Farm Aid’s website.

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