Farm Aid 2019, which is being held at Alpine Valley Music Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 21, will gather an all-star music lineup of artists, all donating their performances for 30,000 fans to celebrate and stand up for family farmers and good food. But organizers say there’s even more to enjoy at the day-long festival.
“We here at Live Nation and Alpine Valley Music Theatre are all excited and honored to host the annual Farm Aid festival. Preparations have been under way for quite some time as we ready for this high-profile, nationally acclaimed event,” said Live Nation General Manager DJ Lindfors. “We look forward to September 21st when we’ll welcome all artists, attendees, volunteers and the festivities that make up this great day to celebrate family farmers and good food.”
The Farm Aid festival has built a culture that invites active participation from attendees around shared music, agrarian experiences and family farm food. Farm Aid, Live Nation, Alpine Valley Music Theatre staff and Legends Hospitality have collaborated with each other and with the regional farm and food community to curate an unforgettable and meaningful day for festivalgoers.
“We’re grateful to Wisconsin area farmers, food businesses and organizations who have contributed to Farm Aid 2019 as suppliers, sponsors, donors, culinary staff, spokespeople, vendors and HOMEGROWN Village exhibitors,” said Farm Aid’s Associate Director Glenda Yoder. “We hope that the Farm Aid festival generates a powerful experience that has a lasting impact on eaters, farmers and the whole community.”
Information about the features of Farm Aid 2019:
- Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village (Noon to 5:30 p.m.) will feature hands-on activities to celebrate the culture of agriculture and give festivalgoers a chance to meet farmers, as well as dig in and learn how farmers enrich our soil, protect our water, grow our economy and bring us good food for good health. Festivalgoers can learn about restoring traditional foods in a Native American community; try the Life in Farming game to experience the ups and downs of a typical farming season; use a rainfall simulator to see how cover crops and pastures minimize soil erosion; learn about how farmers are tackling the climate crisis and ensuring climate justice; play a game about the problems of milk overproduction and the solution that farmers and consumers alike can champion; experience musical instruments made from farm and garden tools; and more. Both local and national participants will bring exhibits. The organization known as HeadCount will promote voting and help people register to vote.
- On the FarmYard Stage, festivalgoers can hear farmers and artists discuss pressing issues and share inspiring stories showcasing food and farming in the region and across the country. Topics include Native American agriculture; climate change and agriculture; how food and farming deepen our connections to each other; and how stress impacts family farmers. The FarmYard Stage is hosted by Pam Jahnke, aka the “Fabulous Farm Babe,” Farm Director for the Wisconsin Farm Report Radio.
- In the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent, festivalgoers can swap seeds and learn how to care for bees, make healthy foods through lactofermentation, mill their own local grains, grow and utilize lavender, and save seeds.
- Farm Aid’s trademarked HOMEGROWN Concessions® will serve food that meets its criteria that ingredients are sustainably produced by family farmers who received a fair price for their product. Legends Hospitality, community vendors and Farm Aid’s perennial food suppliers will serve many menu items showcasing Wisconsin and the region’s outstanding farms. Menu items include fresh apples, organic fermented sauerkraut on brats, organic burgers, blue corn chips, loaded baked potatoes, fish and chips, beet sandwiches, portobello mushroom sandwiches, elote and beef tacos— all featuring local ingredients. Pretzels and cookies will be made with flour from local farms using regenerative methods. Organic chicken tenders will be fair-contract and pork chops will be pasture-raised from a Missouri farmer-owned cooperative. Pickled eggs and corn dogs will round out the menu. Local farmers, produce and dairy cooperatives, food companies and the REAP Food Group facilitated these purchases.
- Beverages at the venue will feature New Glarus Brewing Company, Cheese City Beer, as well as other local craft beers, organic sodas, distilled liquor and craft mead.
- Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Concessions® food service promotes a zero-waste protocol; all serviceware is compostable. Compost Crusaders will haul serviceware and food scraps to create compost that will sustain soil and future crops. This is the first time that front of house composting will take place at Alpine Valley Music Theatre. Hundreds of Farm Aid volunteers will assist in the effort.
- Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Youthmarket will be staffed by young people selling local apples, cider and their own baked goods. The youth organizations include FFA, The Grange, Teens Grow Greens and Neu-Life.
- Parkhurst Dining is providing HOMEGROWN catering for artists, crew and VIP guests. Much of the food, services and products is sourced from local farms, as well as from generous donors including Organic Valley and Organic Prairie, Farmer Focus, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Frontier Co-op, Eco-Products, Horizon Organic, Danone North America, Lundberg Family Farms, Seven Sundays, Uncle Matt’s Organic, Applegate, Patagonia Provisions, Rotella’s Bakery, Equal Exchange/OKE Banana, Sitka Salmon Shares, Oatly, Theo Chocolate, Blue Farm Chips, GrandyOats, Lonesome Stone Milling, Wisco Pop, Guayaki, Parkhurst Dining, Brookfield Organic Produce, Lakanto and TriMark Paper. Culinary students from Badger High School in Lake Geneva, WI, will be baking desserts for HOMEGROWN Catering.
- HOMEGROWN Catering in the VIP area will include presentations from chefs and farmers including Ron and Josie Henningfield of Hill Valley Dairy; Elena Terry of Wild Bearies; Zakiya Courtney of Vegan Soul; Mike Anagnos of Seven Seeds Kitchen; and Chef Justin Aprahamian of Sanford Restaurant. A whole roasted pig from Gunthorp Farms will be served.
- Farm Aid and Hunger Task Force, Milwaukee’s free and local food bank, are teaming up to run a food drive during the Farm Aid festival. All festivalgoers are asked to donate peanut butter; collection sites will be set up at the venue’s entrances. Peanut butter is a healthy, nutritious staple that is always in high demand within Hunger Task Force’s local network of 70 food pantries and meal programs. After the event, a food rescue will ensure that no food is wasted from HOMEGROWN catering. The Walworth County Food Pantry, a local partner of the Hunger Task Force, will benefit from these donations.
- Patagonia Workwear, Farmer Focus and Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs will have booths showcasing their products and farmers. New Glarus Brewing Company’s booth will feature farmers from the Wisconsin Hops Exchange.
- All Farm Aid 2019 T-shirts, hoodies and farmers market tote bags are made with organic cotton. Merchandise stands and HOMEGROWN Concessions® stands will sell Farm Aid’s reusable water bottles, and free water will be available to festivalgoers.
- Farms and farmers will be featured on the video screens of the main stage, including photos of Wisconsin farmers by Mark Hoffman of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Flowers, straw bales and pumpkin décor will be sourced from local farmers including Pearce Farms, Great White Farm, Pipsy Pop Flowers and Lovelight Flowers. The East Troy FFA is delivering straw and hay bales.
Additional Farm Aid 2019 details:
- Farm Aid 2019 will feature performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Bonnie Raitt, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Luke Combs, Margo Price, Jamey Johnson, Tanya Tucker, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Yola, Particle Kid, Ian Mellencamp, Ho-Chunk Thundercloud Singers, and the Wisdom Indian Dancers. All the artists donate their performances and travel expenses.
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 festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For more than 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised $57 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.