Is Farm Aid Still Relevant?

Farm Aid's original mission is a good one. But some of the policies it supports are less appealing.

Today marks the twenty-eighth edition of the annual music festival Farm Aid. The roving concert, which takes place this year in Saratoga Springs, NY, has its roots in the 1980s U.S. farm crisis, when a credit crunch, drought, and other factors pushed many American farmers off their land.

This year’s concert will be the first Farm Aid to be held in rural New York State. It will feature pro bono performances by Willie Nelson (who founded the nonprofit that puts on Farm Aid), John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, and Kacey Musgraves, the fantastic young country talent whose brilliant Same Trailer Different Park is my favorite album of 2013.

I’m on board with the overriding mission of Farm Aid—both of the concert and of the nonprofit that runs the festival.

At a time when the traditional family farm is fast becoming a thing of the past, a nonprofit like Farm Aid that believes in and supports "keeping family farmers on their land" is a noble cause. And Upstate New York dairy farmers—like those around Saratoga Springs—are among those struggling to stay on their land.

But Farm Aid’s mission has also changed over time. Today the group wages “much more of an anti-corporate fight[,]” according to Rhonda Perry, a rural farm advocate quoted in a Time magazine profile of the concert's history in 2010.

According to Time, Farm Aid’s organizers “didn't want a ‘bail out’” for farmers in 1985, when the concert first took place. But by 2008—and probably earlier—the group’s leaders did quite literally want a bailout, having sent “an open letter urging Congress to invest in family farms when considering the recovery package.” A bailout, in other words.

Other policies that Farm Aid supports aren’t exactly a boon for small farmers.

Neil Young traveled to Washington recently to plead with Congress to pass a new Farm Bill. Farm Aid has long viewed the Farm Bill as "the place where we can begin to realize our vision for a better food system." But the Farm Bill is a terrible boondoggle that largely leaves small farmers behind.

Farm Aid also supports unimaginably ridiculous milk price controls. A recent Farm Aid email "call[ed] on the USDA to set a fair price for dairy that will give farmers a decent shot at making a living." Want to help small farmers? That’s not the way.

While in Washington, Young appeared alongside representatives from the National Farmers Union, which supports wasteful taxpayer subsidies for crop insurance—which encourage farmers to plant more crops than consumers need, and so waste taxpayer money while stifling competition. Good for small farmers? I think not.

And Farm Aid also spreads misinformation about laws pertaining to GMOs. Specifically, Farm Aid claims that laws pertaining to GMO crops somehow interfere with the right of non-GMO farmers "to access and save non-G[MO] seeds.”

Whatever one thinks about GMO crops—and I am personally and professionally indifferent—that’s just untrue. Courts have determined that farmers who use GMO seeds must abide by contract terms pertaining to planting and saving those same GMO seeds. But no court I know of has ever had anything to say about any farmer's right to save non-GMO seeds. What’s more, some of the same small farmers Farm Aid claims to champion support growing GMO crops in their fields.

To some, Farm Aid is bigger than the policies it pushes.

"Irregardless of what specific farm bill policies one supports, it’s undisputed that Farm Aid provides a valuable network of hundreds of farmer and advocacy organizations," says upstate New York attorney and dairy farmer Lorraine Lewandrowski, in an email to me. "Farm Aid has served its purpose well as a hub for lawyers and other professionals who work behind the scenes to assist farm families."

That’s no doubt true.

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  • Caleb Turberville||

    I love me some Bob Dylan, but Farm Aid was the result of his trying to out-stupid* Live Aid when he stated that he hoped "some of the money could go to farmers in dangers of losing their farms."

    *Never try to out-stupid Bob Geldof.

  • Almanian!||

    I don't like Mondays. Nor Bob Geldof. Although he was pretty good in "The Wall".

  • Caleb Turberville||

    According to Time, Farm Aid’s organizers “didn't want a ‘bail out’” for farmers in 1985, when the concert first took place. But by 2008—and probably earlier—the group’s leaders did quite literally want a bailout, having sent “an open letter urging Congress to invest in family farms when considering the recovery package.” A bailout, in other words.

    On the contrary, Willie Nelson and John Melloncamp were big supporters of the Agriculture Credit Act of 1987.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....ct_of_1987

  • Almanian!||

    Well, yeah, cause "Little Pink Houses" and all.

    Growing up smack in the middle of Farm Country™, I won't quite agree that "the family farm" is entirely a "myth", but even a small farm is a pretty damned big business. Lotta cash flow, lotta gummint involvement.

    Therefore, ideal candidate for a "bailout"!

    Fuck all these fucking celebs and their pet causes.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Back home, for me, the only farm family I knew closely was pretty well-off. I'm sure it's a tough business and the profit margins are razor-thin, but what's so different from other small businesses?

  • Almanian!||

    Precisely. It's this idyllic, make-believe, soft-focus caricature that makes me puke.

    My dad grew up on a farm - his brother's sons still run it. It's hard work - but it's not any tougher than my uncle's concrete business, or running a grocery store.

    And if you don't like it, sell it for subdivision-creators like me, or put a strip mall on it, make a nature preserve. But shut the fuck up with the "small farmers are special and need some of the money stolen from you".

  • General Butt Naked||

    There was a kid I went to school with whose family owned a dairy farm. They weren't rich, but not poor by any definition. The family ended up selling bits of the land off to walmart and other developers. They're rich now.

    It's funny, now I can be like my dad. I can point at walmart and say, "That used to all be farm land" *waves arm*

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "Old Man Peabody owned all of this. Had this crazy idea of breeding pine trees."

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    +1 Lone Pine Mall.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    When the initial "Farm Aid" hullabaloo started my parents were living in Ames Iowa, and my Father was teaching at Iowa State. The take of the Iowa farmers, according to my parents, was that the 'crisis' was mostly people who had inherited a farm without inheriting any real like for farming, who had taken to spending more than they could afford on large farm-impliment type toys, and couldn't pay for them.

    Maybe not the unvarnished truth - the Iowa farmer has the advantage of working some of the best farmland in North America - but an interesting perspective from people who were at ground zero.

  • ||

    I'm in apple land. They make a killing.

  • ||

    My brother sang on stage 'Little Pink Houses' on The Lonesome Jubilee tour in Montreal back in the late 80s. We met Mellencamp.

    He's a diehard Democrat and it's a shame he has no problem risking to alienate some of his fans but hey, that was some memory and we do love his music.

  • Marshall Gill||

    we do love his music.

    No. Really? For the love of Science, Why?

  • ||

    Just do.

    Hurts so good, come on baby make it hurts so good...

    Should be Obama's theme song.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Did that Dodge Ram Super Bowl commercial teach you people nothing?

  • Snark Plissken||

    OXYMORON!!!

    Also the name of that truck is self-contradictory.

  • Almanian!||

    oooooo - very good catch

    +2 curly horns

  • BakedPenguin||

    If you can't dodge 'em, ram 'em.

  • Almanian!||

    lulz

    I forgot about that! Fuck Dodge, too - hope you like speaking Italian, you two-time bailout fucks. Say hello to Studebaker for me.

  • ||

    Yeah Almanian, but they now have access to FIAT technology which means Ferrari and Maserati. Their chassis form some of their cars are Maserati.

    Maybe Chrysler has a shot.

    GM...on the other hand not so much.

  • SweatingGin||

    It amazes me how quickly fiat's reputation got reasonably good. In '04 or '05 (somewhere around there), Ford paid $2 billion to NOT buy fiat -- to get out of the deal.

    Chrysler/Fiat probably has the best top leadership right now. Thing is, their mission right now is to pay out UAW retiree pensions and health care. Not to make great cars. Make a profit, sure, but it's for the retiree healthcare.

    GM is in about the same spot, with also political considerations on everything they do. Treasury expects to be out of it in Spring '14. I think Ontario still has a big stake, though.

  • ||

    Marchionne has a lot to do with the "renaissance" of FIAT - excuse the cultural pun. He's also trying to change the culture in Italy too but from what I read still a tough gig.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Neil Young traveled to Washington recently to plead with Congress to pass a new Farm Bill.

    Why a cadaverous Canadian folk rock singer ought to tell Congress how to spend American taxpayer money was never brought up, I'm guessing. Did they also get Bryan Adams to testify about fracking?

  • Almanian!||

    Adams was on right after Nova Scotian Wonder Woman Anne Murray testifies regarding protection for migratory birds.

  • Snark Plissken||

    I met the guy who wrote that hit song for Ms Murray, Randy Goodrum, really interesting songwriter. Wrote a shit-ton of hits in the 70s.

  • Almanian!||

    no shit. When I was playing with the Toronto Police pipe band, we did a bunch of concerts with the current-day NS celtic stars - Natalie McMaster, Ashley McIsaac, the Ennis Sisters (they might be from Newfoundland), couple bands from Ireland. They were uniformly cool.

    The other guy I remember was Richard Wood from PEI - ridiculous fiddle player we met in antigonish. We were in awe - he had none of it - "I want to hear BAGPIPES!" More fiddlers per capita than anywhere - not so many talented pipers. Was a nice role reversal - hero worship from a fiddle God!

  • Snark Plissken||

    Got to hear and briefly meet a lot of rather famous musicians when I lived in Hollywood and went to Musician's Inst. They are basically divided into wild and angry, and very zen. Goodrum was a classic zen type. The angry types tend to be more innovative but also burn out.

  • ||

    Who has been to Antigonish? Show of hands.

    /raises hand.

  • Gordilocks||

    Raises Thumb. Hitchhiked through that neighbourhood a couple of times.

    What is it with PEI people wanting to know what your last name is, even when it is blatantly obvious you're not from there?

  • Generic Stranger||

    They're checking to make sure you're not a cousin.

  • ||

    Alamanian, are you in Toronto? Ever come cross Andy Kim? Speaking of 70s chart makers.

  • Almanian!||

    I'm from Michigan, but played in bands from Windsor to Toronto from the 80's to present.

    So, basically, Ontario's my second home.

  • Gordilocks||

    You poor bastard. Between many miles on the 401, and having to deal with the shitstains who are the provincial government here, one wonders why you ever came back. Must have had some great gigs.

  • ||

    He's lucky he doesn't have to come further up the 401 to meet up with the shitstains in Quebec.

  • Ted S.||

    I think Almanian prefers Gino Vannelli. ;-)

  • VG Zaytsev||

    When I was playing with the Toronto Police pipe band

    Is that what you call cop grouppies in canuckistan?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Wasn't Neil Young into the Rock for Choice concerts back in the 90s? How did that fly with his commitment to the farm benefit circuit? I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that farmers aren't the most pro-choice constituency out there.

  • wareagle||

    Young is banking on the mentality that drives the left - gathering single issue constituencies under the rubric of govt. I doubt farmers are abortion supporters but the free pony brigade includes a lot of riders who have nothing in common beyond allegiance to the state.

  • ||

    I'm guessing he has an American passport. I'm also guessing it's the case for many Canadian celebs. They end up being more American than anything and pay lip service when they come back home about how much they love Canada (and all its CANCON regulations blah, blah,) blah, blah.

  • ||

    Actually, it reminded me of a reality that's been a fact of Canadian life (in general) in our history. We tend to get invested in American issues quite a bit. I don't know why but it's rooted, in part I think, in history and practicality.

    Back in the day, American traveling shows would come to Canada by railway and the themes were American so Canadian latched on to American news etc. We were better informed about American issues than our own. So your gun violence became ours.

    Practically, our economy is 85% tied to the U.S. economy so for many they have a direct interest since American problems and successes impact us.

    Look at me, despite being Canadian I read Reason because I share the over arching theme and values of its content. We sometimes get as passionate about America perhaps because if we succeed here, then it'll spill over in Canada - that and the fact there's very little outside Le Quebecois Libre libertarian publications.

    Then there's the whole 'almost to impossible to distinguish a Canadian from an American' angle at which point I think of when the staff at Newsradio found out Dave was Canadian.

    Yeah, so, Neil Young.

  • Gordilocks||

  • ||

    Did you write that?

    Sounds as though Neil ain't the curious artist looking for truth his ilk claim to be.

    Honestly, not surprised by it. He has an ideological cocoon to preserve and he ain't changing it for no low-level plebes.

  • Gordilocks||

    No, it was written by a friend who lives in Fort Mac. The whole Neil Young touring Fort Mac thing was a big splash in the news for about a day - I sent all the relevant infos to Doherty, and he assured me that Ronal Bailey was going to do a piece on it. Still waiting.

    FYI I'm currently in Peterborough, though originally from Hamilton/Niagara Area, but have lived in Alberta and NWT, New Zealand, and Australia.

    Your comment above about reading Reason and sharing the values of it's content, despite living in a different country are shared by myself. Keep bringing the great commentary.

  • ||

    Well, that was a good story out of Fort Mac. It tells many tales. Thanks.

    Peterborough Petes - home of Bob Gainey. Great player, terrible GM!

  • robc||

    'almost to impossible to distinguish a Canadian from an American'

    Floppy heads. Not that hard.

    Before South Park Im not sure people were aware of that genetic defect in Canadians.

  • ||

    South Park's depiction of Canadians is beyond hilarious. Scott the Dick, Terence and Philip, Ike etc.

    Man, the episode when Ike joined the Canadian army had me throwing up it was so funny. Like your comment.

  • Ted S.||

    Then there's the whole 'almost to impossible to distinguish a Canadian from an American' angle

    Until they open their mouths and let the words come oot, eh?

  • ||

    What you talkin' 'boot? That's a Maritime accent. Dunno why it got attached to us, eh? Now if you don't mind, I have some Canadian football to watch on my comfortable Chesterfield. Kramer understood our brand of football is fun.

  • ||

    And one other thing, SP, he's Neil Young! My, my, hey, hey...

  • Almanian!||

    I was just thinking about growing up in Farmville. Lasting takeaway? Farmers had/have EVERY toy ever. Boats, 4 wheelers, travel trailers, trucks, entire fucking shops to maintain all their equipment. They have mad mechanical skills, cause who can pay a mechanic to repair the combine? EVERY fucking toy in the world, pay cash for everything, pools, really nice homes.

    I dunno - I never saw a farmer didn't have a brand fucking new Chevy or Ford truck and everything Cabela's sells for hunting season.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    My grandfather was a poor farmer. But his commitment to the work was so lacking, I can't quite get an explanation from my mother of what he produced exactly. Anyways, it seems he was more of a construction worker/mechanic who did farming on the side than actual "farmer."

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah, the "part-time" farmer is definitely a different animal from full time.

    Which reminds me - "Crop insurance". Never heard of it till we had NO cherries or corn in MI last year.

    "Crop insurance" - of COURSE someone thought of that! Now, for the farmers who didn't buy it? So sorry....for the ones who did?

    Vacation to Aruba is STILL on! Yeah!

  • Gordilocks||

    The guy I drive truck for in the winter is a farmer, and he runs 900 acres of irrigation cash crop in Southern Alberta. He's a millionaire a couple of times over - has worked his ass off his entire life (including 20+ years of trucking on The Ice in the winters) and deserves every penny he has earned - but he is the definition of family farmer. If more family farmers ran a tight ship like him, we would not need 'Farm Aid'.

    Also, GET OFF THE FUCKING SUBSIDIES

  • SweatingGin||

    Iirc, the latest farm bill (that didn't sail through like it was expected to) offers crop insurance payouts, even if you don't actually pay the premium.

  • Harvard||

    [Never heard of it till we had NO cherries or corn in MI last year.]

    Good example, Michigan cherries. In a normal year the cooperatives shovel the tarts into ditches, use them for fertilizer and concoct insidious recipes (how about cherry hamburger?) for the things just to keep the prices up. Solution? Let half the cherry orchards go under and the remainder will flourish. But then, this IS Michigan.

  • DWC||

    Lots and lots of farmers where I live. These are called family farms - 900 acres, 5 150,000.00 tractors, a handful of half million dollar combines, new trucks, ATV's and UTV's and so on. I should be a struggling family farmer.

  • Libertarius||

    No one buys that much equipment to farm 900 acres, bub. We farm 3,000 acres with one big-dollar tractor (Case Steiger) and one combine.

    But I know a family operation that farms 20,000 acres spanning from Nebraska to Ohio to Brazil, they are BIG TIME.

  • Almanian!||

    As more states decriminalize mary jane, I offer to donate myself or any band I may be playing with (bagpipe, rock and roll or otherwise) to help organize and participate in "Weed Aid". To help fund grow lights and irrigation systems, raise bail, whatever, for the herb growers.

    That family that farms weed together eats Twinkies together...

  • Ted S.||

    Who the hell would want to see a bagpipe band?

    Then again, all the stoners would probably be too baked to care.

  • Almanian!||

    Come to Glasgow the second week of August.

    WE ARE LIKE GODS!

    And chicks dig guys in kilts...

  • Rich||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Though people knew about the incident, they didn't know about this specific expert report, which took 45 years to be released to the public.

    Good thing there wasn't any traitorous Edward Snowden to leak this to the public. Good thing Daniel Ellsberg didn't have access to it, or it would have been released prematurely, when it might still be relevant to public-policy discussions!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Almost 260 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, too.

    Beautiful.

  • setTHEline||

    And the Guardian still published it. It's like the Guardian is the only paper that's still trying.

  • sarcasmic||

    Is Farm Aid Still Relevant?

    No.

  • Harvard||

    Better question, was FarmAid EVER relevant? Answer, NO.
    Willie, et.al were caught letting their heart rule their head.

  • Ted S.||

    Baylen really should have linked to this Matt Welch piece in reason from 2005 (considering that I just linked to it yesterday in one of the Links threads.

    Welch documents how much various members of the Mellencamp clan received in ag subsidies.

  • Hawk89||

    As both a beginning farmer and a crop insurance adjuster, I have to disagree with your argument in the following paragraph--
    "While in Washington, Young appeared alongside representatives from the National Farmers Union, which supports wasteful taxpayer subsidies for crop insurance—which encourage farmers to plant more crops than consumers need, and so waste taxpayer money while stifling competition. Good for small farmers? I think not."
    I know farming and the crop insurance industry from the inside out. I also firmly believe in free market economics. The crop insurance program and USDA subsidies could all use some adjustment, I agree, but crop insurance as constituted now does not hurt small family farms, and many of the changes contemplated to it would. Also, crop insurance does not stimulate overproduction. High crop prices, because the world is a hungry place, stimulates "overproduction".

  • Almanian!||

    I love the very idea of crop insurance.

    After they insured Mary Hart's meh legs, why not insure against losing Farmer Brown's epic, super-delicious sweet corn, like last year?

    It was HORRIBLE! No corn. No apples. No apple cider - well, unless you wanted to pay $13 a gallon (Uhhhhhh - no thanks).

    This year - EPIC crop. Mother Nature's a bitch - but when the water and the weather's right....MMMMMMMMmmmichigan, my Michigan vegetables and fruits. Nom nom nom.

  • Sevo||

    "At a time when the traditional family farm is fast becoming a thing of the past, a nonprofit like Farm Aid that believes in and supports "keeping family farmers on their land" is a noble cause."

    Nope. They need to fund buggy-whip makers.
    Sorry, that is one idiotic statement.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Small family farmers aren't buggy makers, shitstain.

    For one thing, there's a large and growing demand for local grown food fruits and veggies, high quality meat, poultry and eggs, etc. The kind that are naturally produced by 'family farmers on their land'. The main thing holding this exchange of goods back is an exercise left to the bombastic.

    Secondly, comparing an obsolete manufacturing technology to family farmers and the voluntary donation of money to help said farmers is idiotic, idiot.

  • Sevo||

    Snark Plissken| 9.21.13 @ 1:48PM |#
    "Small family farmers aren't buggy makers, shitstain.
    For one thing, there's a large and growing demand for local grown food fruits and veggies, high quality meat, poultry and eggs, etc. The kind that are naturally produced by 'family farmers on their land'."

    Bull
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    shit, shitbag.

  • Snark Plissken||

    This is why you and Tony deserve each other, you dogmatic cunt.

  • Sevo||

    Snark Plissken| 9.21.13 @ 3:38PM |#
    "This is why you and Tony deserve each other, you dogmatic cunt."

    Asshole, your ignorance makes that a compliment.
    Go fuck your daddy, shitbag. Oh, and take your designer tomatoes with you.

  • SForza||

    Sevo, you dumb ass, the market for locally grown food has grown tremendously, now more than 4x as large as it was 20 years ago. So, whatever you think of designer tomatoes and the people who buy them, Snark was entirely correct and your call of bullshit was complete bullshit.

  • ||

    "Noble" is in the eye of the beholder. I wouldn't begrudge Sevo his opinion. Although his style of argument-by-invective sometimes leaves a bit to be desired.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    OT: parent arrested and charged with assault on an officer for trying to ask questions. Video of "assault" included:

    http://www.theblaze.com/storie.....lic-forum/

  • Acosmist||

    Well, he's set for life. Cha-ching!

  • robc||

    OT: comment I saw elsewhere on the internet.

    "comedy should always be on the side of and speak for the oppressed"

    Im not providing context but it isnt needed, the context of that statement is exactly what is contained within the quote.

    Without any other knowledge, I have 100% faith in knowing the politics of that poster.

  • ||

    Did you hear about the one with the farmer and his pitchfork impaling the local businessman selling medical supplies?

    /hard laughter, knee slapping in crowd.

  • Almanian!||

    So a family farmer, a cobbler and a clay artist walk into a Starbucks....

    [begin cognitive dissonance]

  • SweatingGin||

    Is the farmer open carrying?

  • Ted S.||

  • ||

    Now try and tell me you wouldn't be tempted to slug these parents. Former Patriots player Brian Holloway's house trashed and parents threaten him with lawsuit:

    http://news.yahoo.com/photos/f.....--spt.html

  • Ted S.||

    Can we slug people who didn't know we talked about this yesterday morning? :-p

  • ||

    Heh. I can't keep up with the pace of you guys. Do any of you work?

  • ||

    Do any of you work?

    LOL! Commoner....

  • np||

    After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there. Cleveland vetoed the expenditure. In his veto message, he espoused a theory of limited government:

    I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.


    Dude had 414 vetoes in his first term, 584 vetoes after two, mostly in this vein. Favored lower tariffs, lower taxes and private industry. I have a feeling Grover Cleveland would not make it in the Democratic Party today.

  • robc||

    Cleveland and Coolidge are the best presidents each major party has put out since the Civil War.

  • Gordilocks||

    Do less in power, and get the people to do more on their own.

    Absomotherfuckinglutely.

  • Almanian!||

    Ditto

  • ||

    Ditto that ditto and I raise you a ditto.

  • From the Tundra||

    Yep. At Mt. Rushmore my kids thought it was funny when I suggested that they remove TR and replace him with Coolidge. The people standing around us, not so much.

  • ||

    Did anyone faint?

  • From the Tundra||

    No, but plenty of head shaking. My first inclination was to replace Abe, but I figured I might not get out alive.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    I think the whole piece of rock is ready for granite mining.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Cleveland was also a big anti-corruption fighter. The most underrated President, IMO.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Grover Cleveland was a deranged teabagging fascist libertarian.

    / proggie

  • Cdr Lytton||

    OT: Obamacare failing due to lack of parking.

    No public transit or alternative tranportation for those doing the Lords work!

  • Ted S.||

    One of the local radio stations runs an ad from a "luxury medical transport" company that claims Medicaid will pay for the service as long as you make the appointment 3-5 days in advance. It's terribly irritating.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "This year’s concert will be the first Farm Aid to be held in rural New York State."

    I know somebody who went looking for farms in New York State, and he said that the taxes farmers have to pay in New York State--to benefit New York City--were onerous.

    Maybe Farm Aid should push for some tax relief.

  • Ted S.||

    It's not just farmers who have to pay the taxes. And it's not just taxes. I live in the NYC watershed, and they're a terrible neighbor when it comes to dirtying our waters.

    (Warning: the newspaper article contains an image which should have been scaled down since it's being used as a thumbnail, but was left at its ~2100x3000 px size.)

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, they've got money to run around making sure nobody's Big Gulps are too big, but not enough money to build a filtration plant?

    I'm sure they'll find the money to fix that--right after they find the money they need to fix New York City's horrific public school system...

    http://www.villagevoice.com/20.....education/

  • ||

    New York attorney and dairy farmer Lorraine Lewandrowski doesn't know that there is no such word as Irregardless?

  • Sevo||

    Tangential:
    Drive north on Hwy #1 say 80 miles north of SF. You'll see signs on the ranch fences:
    "This land preserved for agriculture in perpetuity!"
    What sort of gall does it take to presume YOU know what land should be used for in, oh 100 years, let alone forever?
    I hope the highest and best use turns out to be a nuclear waste dump.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Maybe this is one of those deals where the local government purchases an "easement" purporting to guarantee perpetual agricultural use. I've heard of such a racket before.

  • Sevo||

    When I drove by, it had some organization's name, but that organization had yet to find a home on the web, and it's been long enough that I can't remember.
    Pretty sure it is some feel-good gov't 'protection'.

  • ||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....fpQNfcRE1o

    Ignorant question for you guys who understand radiation, can the detonation of so many nuclear test bombs somehow affect our health or are they in such remote places so as to not matter? Mind you, Nevada is not that remote.

    The other question is: Why did France detonate so many bombs? To bust balls?

  • Generic Stranger||

    There have been residual effects from the bombs detonated in Nevada. People in the area, particularly those downwind, suffer higher than average cancer rates as a result of the tests, and there's a lot of questions over the safety of the water in the areas surrounding the Nevada Test Site.

  • ||

    I think it's suppose to be pretty well established that the strontium 90 released by the tests raised the cancer rates somewhat over the last 50-60 years.

  • VG Zaytsev||

  • Generic Stranger||

    It's one thing to be against subsidies (and I agree completely on that front), but wishing the people who grow the food we eat to fail seems...shortsighted.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Forget it, dude, it's Menckentown.

  • ||

    Did either of you even bother to follow the link? The complete quote for context is important.

    When the going is good for him he robs the rest of us up to the extreme limit of our endurance; when the going is bad be comes bawling for help out of the public till.

    Almost sounds like somebody getting rightly reprimanded for being a rent seeking welfare whore - not a city dweller ignoramus wishing a pox on the source of his meals.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    "Mamas, don't let your farmers grow up to be crybabies."

  • Mickey Rat||

    "He simply cannot imagine himself as a citizen of a commonwealth, in duty bound to give as well as take; he can imagine himself only as getting all and giving nothing."

    "Because he produces something that all of us must have–that we must get somehow on penalty of death. And how do we get it from him? By submitting helplessly to his unconscionable blackmailing by paying him, not under any rule of reason, but in proportion to his roguery and incompetence, and hence to the direness of our need."

    I always like a good rant, but this seems a bit contradictory. A clash of entitled populations endlessly bitching about the unfairness of the price of their trade with each other.

    Unless that's the point, of course.

  • XM||

    Srop farm aids, in all its forms

  • Harvard||

    The rant about farmers is mostly true, although I find myself filing a Schedule F each year. It's the last best tax dodge. To date the rest of you have paved my quarter mile driveway through the trees, kept my land taxes low, let me depreciate any number of toys from tractors to quad runners, and offer a sizeable deduction expense each year. I do appreciate it.

    Hint: Those of you living on acreage of any size at all. Establish a dozen bee hives. Scan the net for subsidies, state and federal. It's the new money faucet.

  • ||

    Of course bee hives would be the new money faucet....
    Democrats need an easy way to funnel money to Obama's progressive hipster fans.

  • Generic Stranger||

    NOT THE BEES!

  • ||

    Why couldn't you have just let Farm Aid sink into useless obscurity, instead of giving them free publicity by drawing attention to their fringification?

    Why, Reason? This is like an excuse for progressive dipshits to start talking up the awesomeness of Farm Aid, now that they've latched onto the anti-GMO bandwagon.

  • ||

    When you glance over 'anti-GMO bandwagon' it looks REO Speedwagon.

  • juliajuli||

    my roomate's mom makes on the internet. She has been out of a job for six months but last month her paycheck was just working on the internet for a few hours. browse this site......

    HTTP://WWW.RUSH60.COM

  • 4thaugust1932||

    FarmAid should be delegated to UNESCO

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