Source: Farm Aid news release



Farm Aid, alongside farmers and food buyers at the Historic Soulard Farmer's Market, announced today that it will bring its annual benefit concert to St. Louis, marking the first time that the organization will stage the event in Missouri.



"Farm Aid has deep roots in the Midwest that reach back to our first concert in Illinois in 1985," said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. "I'm looking forward to bringing my friends together on the Farm Aid stage to celebrate family farmers and the crucial work they do. Farmers do so much more than bring us the good food we all want to eat. America needs family farmers to revitalize our economy and make our country healthy."



Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic will feature Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews on Sunday, October 4 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, MO, plus other top artists to be announced. The concert event will celebrate music, family farmers and good food, and will again feature HOMEGROWN concessions--family-farm identified, local and organic foods. Farm Aid's HOMEGROWN Village will showcase hands-on activities that give concertgoers a chance to meet farmers, get their hands dirty, and learn how family farmers are enriching our soil, protecting our water, and connecting us to our roots.



"Family farmers are innovative entrepreneurs who safeguard our food, environment and health," said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid. "Since the beginning, Farm Aid has worked with family farmers in the Midwest to keep them on the land, especially in the face of factory farms that have threatened to take over food production. At Farm Aid, concertgoers will reap the benefits of this work and will experience food grown by Missouri's family farms."



St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay and County Executive Charlie Dooley welcomed Farm Aid to St. Louis and highlighted the economic contributions family farmers make to the regional economy.



"St. Louis is a destination for the country's biggest events," said Mayor Slay. "We are proud to host Farm Aid for the first time and shine a spotlight on the contributions Missouri's family farmers make to building a strong local economy and a vibrant community."



For nearly a quarter century, Farm Aid has traveled the country, staging annual concerts and supporting organizations that work locally, regionally and nationally to strengthen family farms. This year, Farm Aid has received a record number of calls to its hotline from farmers in need due to credit shortages, falling prices and the sharp increase in costs of production. Farm Aid's annual benefit concert is its primary event to raise funds in support of this work.



Tickets for Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic will go on sale July 25 at 10 a.m. CDT and are available exclusively at www.livenation.com, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Box Office, by calling (877) 598-8703, or at participating Blockbuster stores (visit www.livenation.com for list of locations). There is no service charge at the Verizon Wireless Box Office for the first week of ticket sales, July 25-August 1. Tickets for Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic are $39 for lawn; $44, $54 and $79 for seats; and $169 for a limited number of premium seats.



Farm Aid will offer special advance sale tickets to Farm Aid members beginning July 17. To become a member of Farm Aid, visit www.farmaid.org.



Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic is sponsored by DIRECTV, Organic Valley Family of Farms, Silk, and EternaGreen. Farm Aid offers additional corporate sponsorship opportunities for select companies. For more information, contact Glenda Yoder at glenda@farmaid.org.



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-farmed food. Since 1985, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised nearly $35 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.