Tuesday, March 30, 2004

NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Contact: Trent Loos, Faces of Agriculture 970-481-1389 or trent@loostales.com
Date: March 30, 2004

Farm Aid finances lawsuits against farm families

LOUP CITY, Neb. – Farm Aid, a non-profit organization founded by country music legend Willie Nelson to help struggling family farmers, is now funneling the money it generates toward anti-agricultural groups that file lawsuits against the very farmers Nelson claims to be helping, according to pro-agriculture crusader Trent Loos.

Nelson’s group has raised millions of dollars at Farm Aid concerts across the country since the organization began in 1985. More than $17 million has been contributed to various groups in 44 different states. But a recent investigation into these contributions revealed that much of the money is going to organizations engaged in litigation against farmers.

“It is an atrocity that someone can use the phrase ‘helping family farmers’ to generate millions of dollars and then turn around and use that money to finance the demise of those agricultural operations,” said Loos, founder of Faces of Agriculture. “People need to be aware of how their contributions to Farm Aid are really being used. This money is not helping farmers but litigating them out of business.”

For example: Farm Aid has funded the radical Illinois Stewardship Alliance, whose goal is to “protect the health and well-being of rural communities from the negative results of livestock production facilities.” Farm Aid also donates money to the Concerned Citizens of Iowa (CCI), a group that brags on its Web site, “At the local level, CCI helped pass factory farm moratoriums in four counties and passed ordinances in four other counties.” CCI has been instrumental in filing 14 lawsuits against farmers in Iowa, a record, for one group, according to Iowa Ag Law experts.

Funds generated under the auspices of helping farm families have also been donated to groups such as the Dakota Resource Council, Northern Plains Resource Council and the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC).

“These groups are working to prohibit development and research in the application of genetically modified crops,” Loos said, “developments that could potentially help mitigate world hunger problems and greatly reduce pesticide use.”

Farm Aid’s Web site includes numerous photos and passages from Farm Sanctuary, an organization that promotes a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. In a recent CMT documentary about Farm Aid, “Voice for Animals” was listed in the credits. ”Voice for Animals” is an outspoken supporter for the “liberation” of all animals – including livestock.

“By propagating the myth of ‘factory farms’ and opposing technologies such as genetic modification and food irradiation -- developed to benefit of consumers and producers -- Farm Aid has taken a stand against farmers of all sizes, who are working to do what is best for the environment and the people they feed,” Loos said.

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Faces of Agriculture is a non-profit organization with the mission of returning the human element to food production.
For more information, visit our Web site at www.FacesOfAg.com call 970-481-1389 or write to P.O. Box 545 Loup City, NE 68853

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