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Farm Aid Returns to its Roots

From <www.commondreams.org>

PRESS RELEASE:
JULY 11, 2005


CONTACT: Farm Aid 2005
Brandi Dobbins, 703-307-8891 (cell), bdobbins at vancomm.com

Farm Aid Returns To Roots, Promotes Food from Family Farms
Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews Headline 20th
Anniversary Concert on Sept. 18 in Chicago

CHICAGO - July 11 - Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson and co-founder John
Mellencamp today announced that the nation's leading family farm advocacy
organization will mark its 20th anniversary by returning to Illinois -- the
state where it all began.

Farm Aid 2005 Presented by Silk Soymilk will urge Americans to choose food
from family farms. The 20th anniversary celebration will kick off with a
week of food and music events in Chicago. Pre-concert events will showcase
the city's efforts to promote family farm food by linking rural and urban
communities. The events will culminate with Farm Aid's 20th anniversary
all-star fundraising concert to take place on Sept. 18 at the Tweeter Center
in Tinley Park, IL.

The 20th anniversary concert will feature Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John
Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, plus other top artists to be announced later.
Farm Aid week in Chicago will include the County Fair at the Garfield
Conservatory on September 17, a film festival, possible small-venue
performances, educational and restaurant events, as well as the release of
Farm Aid's book, FARM AID: A Song for America. During the week, Farm Aid
will spotlight activities at Chicago-area farmers markets.

Farm Aid began in 1985 when Willie Nelson, inspired by comments from Bob
Dylan at Live Aid, along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, hosted a
day-long music benefit for family farmers in Champaign, IL. From that moment
forward, Farm Aid's activist board has shown relentless commitment and
dedication, motivating support from millions of Americans and providing hope
for struggling family farmers.

"From small towns to folks in the city, everybody knows family farm food is
the best," said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. "It's good to be back in
Illinois where it all started. This state is showing how good food can
connect places like Champaign and Chicago. It inspires us to think about
family farmers every day. I'm looking forward to playing on the Farm Aid
stage, playing music with my friends."

"Farmers have a tremendous impact on the quality of food that we eat," said
Farm Aid Board Member John Mellencamp. "Farm Aid is always a great show, but
even more important is that Farm Aid helps the consumer and the family
farmer work together for the benefit of all of us."

Since its beginning, Farm Aid has traveled the country, supporting local
organizations working to strengthen and promote family farms. From
Washington state to Washington, DC, Farm Aid has established a platform for
family farmers to help create a movement that increases the supply and
demand for family farm- identified food. Farm Aid's vision is to offer as
many opportunities as possible for farmers to provide us with good
products-food and alternative fuels that protect our land, our health and
our environment.

"Right now, America is on the cusp of a "good food" movement, promoted and
supported by Farm Aid," said Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. "The
American public recognizes family farmers as their resource for food that is
local, humanely- raised, organic, and sustainable, and consumers are
reaching for these foods in grocery stores, at farmers markets, in schools
and even in hospitals. This demand offers growing economic opportunity for
family farmers to thrive. Farm Aid will continue to work to increase the
options for all family farmers in order to secure a safe, healthy food
supply for our future."

"I am pleased to welcome Farm Aid to Chicago to celebrate its 20th
anniversary," said Mayor Daley. "Chicago is committed to supporting small
businesses and improving the quality of life for its residents, and Farm Aid
helps family farmers do their job of producing the highest quality food for
our City and for people all over the country."

For the third year, Silk Soymilk is the presenting sponsor of the Farm Aid
concert. "Silk Soymilk is proud to present Farm Aid's 20th anniversary
concert," states Mike Keown, Senior Vice President of Marketing for
WhiteWave Foods. "We salute the important role that family farmers serve in
promoting sustainable agriculture and providing healthy food to American
families. We look forward to this celebratory event in the Chicago area-
centrally located in the heart of our nation's Farm Belt."

Tickets for Farm Aid 2005 Presented by Silk Soymilk are on sale July 30 at
10 a.m. CDT and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Tweeter
Center box office, charge by phone in Chicago at 312-559-1212, or online at
http://www.tweetercenter.com/chicago. For more information about Farm Aid's
20th anniversary, visit http://www.farmaid.org.

Farm Aid will offer special advance sale tickets to its FarmYard members. To
become a member of Farm Aid's FarmYard, visit http://www.farmaid.org.

For directions, venue rules and regulations, parking and general
information, please visit http://www.tweetercenter.com/chicago or call
708-614-1616.

Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid
concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to
raise funds to keep farm families on their land. Dave Matthews joined the
Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001. Farm Aid has raised more than $27
million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture.
Through public education and direct grants, Farm Aid supports national,
regional and local efforts to build and strengthen family farm food systems.

MEDIA NOTE: Advance credentials are required for attendance at Farm Aid 2005
presented by Silk Soymilk. Please visit http://www.farmaid.org/credentials
by Aug. 15, 2005 to apply for credentials.

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