CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Farm Aid announced its first grants made through the Family Farm Disaster Fund to provide relief for farm families whose crops and farmland are being devastated by the country's worst drought in more than 50 years.
"This historic drought threatens the majority of farmland in the country, placing family farmers at risk," said Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. "Farm Aid is proud to work with the individuals and organizations that have stepped up and shown their support for family farmers. Together, we can protect our farmers' livelihoods during these extreme conditions."
Initial grants of $3,000 were distributed to farm organizations in areas hit particularly hard by drought. Funded organizations that will make emergency grants available to farmers in their communities include HOME (Indiana); Missouri Rural Crisis Center; Kansas Farmers Union; and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, which works across the South. A $3,000 grant was also made to the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) in Washington, D.C., to fund work toward long-term solutions for family farmers affected by drought.
"This grant supports our immediate efforts to assist farmers by promoting swift policy responses from USDA in the midst of this devastating drought," stated Kathy Ozer, NFFC's executive director.
With thousands of farmers affected by drought from coast to coast, raising funds for those in need is urgent. The Family Farm Disaster Fund (farmaid.org/disasterfund) allows Farm Aid to respond directly to farm families in crisis. Every dollar raised supports local farm groups and rural organizations that can distribute emergency resources quickly to the farm families most in need, as well as farm groups who advocate for long-term solutions to address chronic drought and extreme weather.
"I have had the honor of working with many farmers who have been helped by Farm Aid over the years," said Cissy Bowman of HOME. "Family farmers are our greatest national treasure and it is crucial for all of us that they stay on their farms."
To donate, please visit farmaid.org/disasterfund.
Farm Aid's mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid's work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. Since 1985, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $40 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.
Farm Aid 2012, the organization's annual benefit concert, will be held in Hershey, Pa., on Sept. 22. For more information, visit farmaid.org/concert.
SOURCE Farm Aid