The Year is 2021. Farm Aid is actually happening in Hartford, CT. Yes even the east coast farms. Yes even that lose to Boston and New York. Yes there are vaccine card checks and covid testing to enter the actual venue. Yes, children and their parents are seen wearing masks. Am I in Hartford? Of course not, it’s soccer season and I’m still coaching. However the livestream is still a safe way to be there.
Why do I still watch Farm Aid all these years later? Why do we all still need to look out for our family farmers? After the Covid-19 food challenges popped up we really should understand how important our local family farm is to keeping food on our tables. The mega-farms and super-packers were the first to become impacted by Covid-19 workplace infections and travel restrictions. Our local family farmers- Art King at Harvest Valley, Dave Jones Turkey Farm in Freeport and the King family at Freedom Farms kept our refrigerator, freezer and Thanksgiving tables full this past year. There are somethings more important than price when it comes to fueling our bodies. I realized the Global Citizen concert was also going on today, but it’s really ironic to have two amazing shows focused on connecting people with their planet and with each other on the same day.
I appreciate seeing generations of Americana that are represented at Farm Aid. There is something special about watching Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave & Tim–sing, dance and engage their fans to spread the word about the fight for our family farms at a time when the whole world is watching the impact of Global Climate Change, government food programs and subsidies to corporate producers. Of note– One missing founding father was our Canadian friend Neil Young.
I’ve been going to Farm Aid since the first time they came to Burgettstown in 2002 . We were lucky enough to attend Chocolatetown with Sarah and Tom in 2012 before heading down from Oak Creek to Chicago for the 30th edition of Farm Aid in Chicago. When we came back to Pennsylvania we made the Burgettstown one last time in 2018. We also supported Farm Aid 2020 at home.
Note that last trip to Burgettstown will be my last trip to Burgettstown for anything. Even during this pandemic, going to Columbus, Cleveland or Cancun is easier that going to that shed in Washington County.