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Farm Aid 2023 promotes sustainable agriculture
Indiana Ag Connection - 09/26/2023

Farm Aid 2023, the annual benefit concert held to support American farmers, focused on promoting sustainable agriculture. The event brought together artists, farmers, and advocates to raise awareness and advocate for policies that support climate-resilient farming.

Farm Aid supports sustainable agriculture in a number of ways. First, they provide resources and guidance to farmers who are looking for new ways to farm sustainably. They offer a resource guide for sustainable production, which includes information on practices that care for the land, diversify income, and strengthen community connections.

Farm Aid also advocates for policies that support sustainable agriculture. They work to protect climate-resilient agriculture funding and advocate for sustainable practices that can withstand the challenges posed by climate change. Their efforts help build a more resilient and adaptive agricultural sector.

Farm Aid raises awareness and inspires action through events such as the annual Farm Aid concert. By bringing together musicians, farmers, and supporters, Farm Aid not only raises funds but also spreads awareness about the importance of sustainable agriculture. Through these events, Farm Aid aims to inspire individuals to take part in supporting local farmers and adopting sustainable food choices.

During the 2023 Farm Aid concert, farmers and food producers from Indiana shared their strategies for maintaining thriving farming operations while simultaneously addressing consumer demand and environmental considerations.

Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar said, "Farmers are proving that they have the power to positively change our future. Now it's up to us to raise our voices and join with farmers to challenge policymakers to support them and their essential work."

Farm Aid also hosted a Farmer Forum and The People's Hearing to amplify the policy change needs of farmers. At The People's Hearing, witnesses from all over the country submitted testimonies to advocate for effective policies in the areas of corporate power, climate science, and racial justice.

Farm Aid's HOMEGROWN Village at Ruoff Music Center showcased interactive activities celebrating agriculture, allowing festivalgoers to connect with farmers, learn about their vital role in soil enrichment, water conservation, economic growth, and providing nutritious food. Local and national organizations were present to educate attendees on farm stress and ways to support wellness in agricultural communities. Festivalgoers engaged in food policy discussions, interacted with young and beginning farmers, and expressed gratitude to Indiana farmers for their stewardship of the land.

Artists and farmers convened on the FarmYard stage throughout the day to address various agricultural topics, including climate, soil, water, the pending Farm Bill, the next generation of farmers, and the benefits of diverse farming practices for the land and food system.

Farm Aid's HOMEGROWN Concessions® menu items, available throughout the venue, adhered to Farm Aid's HOMEGROWN criteria: (1) produced by family farmers, (2) utilizing ecological practices, and (3) ensuring fair prices for farmers. Food options included Indiana pastured beef burgers, stuffed organic russet potatoes, blackened shrimp tacos, Indiana-pastured beef hot dogs topped with brisket from Indiana-certified grass-fed beef, roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted local non-GMO elote, and kettle corn.

A HOMEGROWN Youthmarket, operated by young individuals from FFA’s Hamilton Southeastern student chapter, Human Agriculture Co-operative in Fort Wayne, and The Grange, offered fresh fruits, pecans, and baked goods to festivalgoers.

Farm Aid 2023 was a successful event that raised awareness and advocated for sustainable agriculture. The organization is committed to supporting family farmers and promoting a sustainable, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America.

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