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FARM AID 2002 heads to western PA

(July 25, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- Get ready Pennsylvania! Farm Aid 2002 is heading your way.

Farm Aid President and founder Willie Nelson announced today that the family farm advocacy organization will hold its 15th benefit concert on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Post-Gazette Pavilion, just outside of Pittsburgh.

"We're glad to bring our first Farm Aid concert in the northeast to Pennsylvania," said Nelson. "We know Pennsylvania farm families work hard on their land, and Farm Aid 2002 will celebrate and honor their efforts. The enthusiasm and support for family farms in this part of the country inspires us all to keep working to strengthen family farmers who produce healthy food for all of us."

The stellar Farm Aid 2002 lineup features co-founders Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, as well as Farm Aid's newest board member Dave Matthews. More artists will be announced soon, along with ticket prices and the concert's on-sale date.

So what can first-time concert attendees expect from Farm Aid's mega-event? "We're always fortunate to have top artists who donate their time and talents to support farm families," said Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. "The wide range and combination of music from the Farm Aid stage always guarantees a unique and exciting show. You won't want to miss a minute of Farm Aid 2002."

Farm Aid is coming to Pennsylvania at a critical time for the state's agriculture. Just as Pennsylvania family farmers are embracing sustainable agriculture practices and creative partnerships with urban consumers, rural communities are fending off the advances of factory hog farms that are trying to gain a foothold in many areas of the state. Nelson says these corporate-run operations have polluted many previously healthy rural areas across the country, and he believes it will take continued strength and resolve for Pennsylvania farmers, consumers and policymakers to oppose the companies' initially appealing offers.

"People in Pennsylvania know how much family farmers contribute to the state's health, food quality, economy and environment. Farm Aid 2002 is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the perseverance of farm families and stand strong with them against the growth of factory hog farms in rural Pennsylvania," said Nelson.

For the fifth consecutive year, Farm Aid 2002 will be telecast live on CMT: Country Music Television. CMT, America's No. 1 country music network, carries original programming, specials, and live concerts and events, as well as a mix of videos by established country music artists and new cutting-edge acts, including world premiere exclusive videos. Founded March 6, 1983, CMT, owned and operated by MTV Networks, reaches 60.2 million households in the United States.

Event sponsors include: Texas Roadhouse Restaurants, Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, Allegro Coffee and Natural Touch.

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 $24 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 promote sustainable agriculture, fight factory farms, advocate for fair farm prices, and provide credit counseling and direct assistance to farm families.

For more information, contact: Becky Marquis, 202-331-4323