EAST TROY, Wis. – For just the second time in its 34-year history, Farmaid took place in the state of Wisconsin.
The one-day musical event, featuring acts like Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, aims to raise money and awareness for family farmers in America.
“Farmaid is helping us link to the consumers,” said Columbia County dairy farmer Sarah Lloyd. “Because we need the eaters and the farmers to be together.”
Lloyd, who is also a member of the Wisconsin Farmers Union, said in 2018, nearly 700 dairy farms in the state of Wisconsin closed. She said this year is on pace to see similar numbers.
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“Farmers are really struggling right now,” Lloyd said. “Dairy farmers have been under five years of low prices that aren’t covering our cost of production. That’s why you’re seeing so many dairy farms going out of business.”
Prior to the concert starting, performing artists held a discussion panel with local farmers. There, they discussed necessary changes in policy.
“What we really need is a solution at the top,” said Young during the event. “Someone needs to start pushing for sustainable practices in our food supply.”
Lloyd said having the support of the musicians takes the farmers’ cause further than it could ever go otherwise.
“Farmaid not only allows us to celebrate and gather with these cultural icons of music, but also allows us to organize for change,” she said.
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