Indiana – the Hoosier Dome, April 7, 1990. Bonnie Raitt, John Mellencamp, John Hiatt, Carl Perkins, Arlo Guthrie, Gorky Park Garth Brooks, John Denver, Bill Monroe, Alan Jackson, Asleep at the Wheel, Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, Poco, Elton John, Lou Reed, Don Henley, Taj Mahal, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Guns N’ Roses Farm Aid started as a benefit concert on September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, held to raise money for family farmers in the United States. The concert was organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, spurred on by Bob Dylan’s comments at Live Aid earlier in that year that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt. The first concert was at University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium in Champaign on September 25 before a crowd of 80,000 people. Performers included Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, among others, and raised over million for America’s family farmers. Nelson and Mellencamp then brought family farmers before Congress to testify about the state of family farming in America. Congress subsequently passed the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to help save family farms from foreclosure. Today, Farm Aid is an organization that works to increase awareness of the importance of family farms, and puts on an annual concert of country, blues and rock music with a variety of stars. The board of directors includes Nelson, Mellencamp, Young, and Dave Matthews. Young’s speeches about the environment are a highlight of the annual shows. After the initial concert, the organization established emergency hot lines for farmers and farm associations. Farm Aid holds a farm disaster fund for farmers who lost their belongings and crops through natural disasters, such as the victims of Hurricane Katrina […]
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