Farm Aid to Benefit Manhattan Farmers’ Markets

In light of recent events in the U.S., the 14th Farm Aid concert, set for Sept. 29, will be called “Concert for America,” and proceeds will help relocate farmers’ markets in lower Manhattan shut down by the World Trade Center bombings.

“Never has a Farm Aid concert come at such an important national moment,” Farm Aid President Willie Nelson said. “We are all called to do what we can to strengthen our country. Farm Aid has a long history of responding to natural disasters, from droughts and floods to hurricanes and tornadoes. Never did we imagine that we would be responding to a disaster caused by terrorists.”

More than 40 farmers and food producers are without one or more markets for selling their produce as a result of the attack, a Farm Aid spokeswoman tells The New York City Greenmarket was operating a farmers’ market in the WTC on Sept. 11, with 12 farmers and food producers participating. None were killed, but their produce and equipment -– trucks, canopies, tables, scales and the like –- were destroyed, she says.

Four other markets have been shut down in lower Manhattan as a result of the catastrophe. Farm Aid will help get the markets up and running in alternate locations. The Farmers’ Market Federation of New York -– c/o Farmers’ Market Federation of New York, 2100 Park St., Syracuse, NY 13208 — has created the Fund for World Trade Center Greenmarket Farmers. The fund is coordinated by Diane Eggert, executive director of the Farmers’ Market Federation.

For the concert at the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Ind., Farm Aid co-founders Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp will be joined by Martina McBride , Dave Matthews, Arlo Guthrie and Acoustic Syndicate. CMT will telecast the concert live from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

“Now more than ever, America needs family farmers on the land,” Nelson said. “As producers of our food and guardians of our land and natural resources, they make our country strong. We need strong family farmers for a strong America. Farm Aid will continue to ask the American public to support all family farmers and keep them farming, producing our food.”