Some of you are old enough to remember the farm crisis back in the 1980’s, when a wave of foreclosures hit farmers across the United States. Even if you don’t remember the crisis itself, you may well remember The “Farm Aid” concerts given by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp. The concerts raised money, but also raised awareness about the systemic problems that were forcing family farms out of business.
But the concerts are only part of the story. There were countless farmers that also fought the system, and helped many others save their livelihood, and their way of life. It’s a good story, but one that is not finished. Many of the situations that created the problems back then are still happening today, and Farm Aid is still an active organization that is helping to raise awareness, and helping farmers to take a stand.
One of Farm Aid’s latest projects is a film called “Homeplace Under Fire”. The movie follows the people – small, unassuming farmers and big name stars – who have challenged bankers and government regulators. George and Cherry were recently invited to view the film at Duke University. It’s a fascinating look back, with current interviews of some of the key players as well as the beautiful Pulitzer Prize winning documentation from the 80’s.