The usual suspects of Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews will once again reunite for the plight of the American farmer as part of the 2019 installment of Farm Aid, which this year will focus its attention on the land of dairy. Set to take place September 21st at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy about 30 miles southwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the location was chosen specifically due to the crisis affecting many of America’s dairy farmers.
Joining the primary Farm Aid performers this year will also be traditional country stalwart Jamey Johnson, country legend Tanya Tucker, blues legend Bonnie Raitt, the Grammy-nominated Margo Price, upsurging country/Americana talent Yola, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Brothers Osborne, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Particle Kid. Additional performers will also be announced at a later date.
Wisconsin has been hit especially hard by the dairy crisis as the 2nd-largest producer of milk and dairy products in the United States behind California. Almost half of the $88 billion-dollar agricultural contributions of Wisconsin come from dairy, with cheese being the state’s signature export. This has put Wisconsin in a precarious position as milk prices for farmers have fallen nearly 40% due to overproduction and failing export markets. This has also resulted in the state’s dairy herds declining by 40% in the last decade.
Even more alarming, Wisconsin has led all states in farm bankruptcies for the last three years. The state lost an estimated 700 dairy farms in 2018 alone, and an estimated 300 farms this year. This is why Farm Aid organizers chose Wisconsin as the location of the annual concert in 2019. Since 1985, the organization led by Willie Nelson as Co-Founder and President has raised $57 million to support family farmers.
“With devastating weather, low prices and harmful farm and trade policies, America’s family farmers are facing immense challenges to hold onto their farms,” Willie Nelson said in a statement. “It’s not right… family farmers are essential for all of us…At Farm Aid 2019, we’ll highlight solutions and show our support for family farmers’ contributions to our health, economy and environment.”
Along with the music, Farm Aid offers advocacy programs and interactive displays and activities to teach people about the importance of farming.
Tickets for 2019 Farm Aid go on sale Friday (7-12) morning at 10 a.m CDT HERE.