Willie Nelson helped found Farm Aid, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping raise awareness about the loss of family farms and raise money to keep farm families on their land. Because of his accomplishments with the organization he will be the next inductee into the Agricultural Hall of Fame. He will join the ranks of Eli Whitney, George Washington Carver and Isaac Newton –all who have a place in the Agricultural Hall of Fame.
The musician started Farm Aid in 1985 with the help of John Mellancamp and Neil Young with a concert that benefited local farmers. Since 1985 many other musical artists have joined to help Farm Aid’s mission become a success. Dave Matthews was just one of the musicians who joined Nelson in Farm Aid’s quest. He joined the board of directors in 2001.
Willie Nelson said of being inducted into the Hall of Fame, “I am extremely honored and humbled to join the company of the 38 prominent inductees already in the Agricultural Hall of Fame. I have long said that family farmers are the backbone of our country. I never thought Farm Aid would need to be around as long as it has been, but we know our country needs family farmers, and Farm Aid will be here as long as family farmers need us. It’s up to all of us to work together to keep family farmers growing.”
Farm Aid has raised over $39 million to promote a strong family farm system of agriculture. The next Farm Aid concert will take place on Aug. 13 at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. On the morning prior, Nelson will be inducted into the Agricultural Hall of Fame in a ceremony meant to honor the singer for his contributions to farmers through Farm Aid.
Cathi Hahner, executive director of the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame said of inducting Nelson, “We want to recognize Mr. Nelson for his long commitment to America’s family farmers. To this day, he continues the work that he started back in 1985 when he, along with John Mellencamp and Neil Young, organized the first Farm Aid concert, raising millions of dollars and drawing enormous attention to the devastating economic problems faced by this country’s family farmers and their communities.”