December 18 [14:00 EDT] -- Farm Aid Executive Director, Carolyn Mugar, announced today that the charity organization will be giving $500,000 in funds to more than fifty local organizations in twenty-three states.
This is due in part to the success of the Farm Aid '97 concert in Tinley Park, Illinois this past October that featured performances from Beck, The Dave Matthews Band, Aid co-founders Neil Young and John Mellencamp, Steve Earle, John Fogerty, and others.
Since 1985, Farm Aid, which was founded by Willie Nelson, Young, Mellencamp, and John Conlee, has donated more than $14 million to 100 farm organizations, churches, and service agencies in forty-four states. According to a statement from the Farm Aid organization, "more than 500 families lose their farms each week due to an increase trend toward industrial agriculture."
Says Mugar, "Farm Aid is stepping in to help farmers stay on the land so that we can enjoy an abundant supply of healthy, safe food during
the holidays and all year 'round."