Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, More Take Stage As Farm Aid Returns To Burgettstown

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BURGETTSTOWN (KDKA) — For 32 years, Farm Aid has been a lifeline for struggling family farms, and for the second time, the annual Farm Aid concert has come to the Pittsburgh area.

Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson opened a day-long festival of music and celebration at the KeyBank Pavilion. Farm Aid has raised $52 million since 1985, but Nelson admits times have changed.

“The farmers are moving along on their own pretty well. They figured out organic farming. They’ve figured out farm to market,” he said.

Farm Aid ’17 returned to Burgettstown to put western Pennsylvania’s organic, dairy and urban farmers in the spotlight.

Don Kretschmann was invited on stage to talk about his organic farm in Zelienople. He’s been successful selling products on the local markets.

“Farming is something that I feel you can always be proud of having spent your life doing,” he said.

Farm Aid is recognizing the development of urban gardens. Ayanna Jones was also honored for her work in the East End of the city.

“The answer to what we need done is for us to do it ourselves, and that comes in urban gardening,” she said.

Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Sheryl Crow were among the iconic performers joining Willie Nelson and Farm Aid to stress the importance of saving family farms.

“Family farmers bring us good food. They bring us good health. They enrich our communities,” Jennifer Fahy with Farm Aid said. “They preserve open space, which we all enjoy so much. There’s economic opportunities.”

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