Longtime Farm Aid supporters Margo Price and Annie Nelson are joining the organization’s Board of Directors. They will join founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp along with longtime member Dave Matthews.
Price grew up on a family farm in Illinois and has been a part of every Farm Aid since the 2016 concert in Bristow, Virginia. “It is always a thrill to perform alongside my heroes on the Farm Aid stage, and it is one of the greatest honors of my life to become a member of the Farm Aid board,” she said in a statement. “It’s been a dream of mine to help family farmers and communities across America ever since my family lost their farm in the fall of 1984 — a year before the first Farm Aid concert. I hope to use my voice to shine light on the issues of climate change, our health and the health of our soil and water, and most importantly, food justice.”
Annie Nelson, who has been married to Willie Nelson since 1991, has played a pivotal role in the Farm Aid organization for decades. “I am honored to join Willie and the other members on Farm Aid’s Board of Directors,” she says in a statement. “I’ve witnessed the incredible strength and resilience of America’s family farmers through my involvement in Farm Aid, and I am eager to continue to help our family farm system thrive through this new role.”
The original Farm Aid took place on September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, inspired by off-the-cuff comments Bob Dylan made onstage at Live Aid earlier that year about the need to raise funds for struggling family farmers. It’s been held almost every year since that time and has featured performances by everyone from Guns N’ Roses and Phish to Jack White, the Allman Brothers, the Beach Boys, and Elton John. Willie Nelson, Young, and Mellencamp have not missed a single one since the original, and Matthews has been at every one since joining the board in 2001. Over the years, it’s raised over $60 million for farmers in need.
The last in-person Farm Aid took place September 21, 2019 at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin, but they held two virtual Farm Aid events in 2020. As of now, there are no public plans for a 2021 event.