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Farm Aid Festival returning to Wisconsin September 21

NOW: Farm Aid Festival returning to Wisconsin September 21

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EAST TROY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A concert to benefit American Farmers is coming back to Wisconsin this fall. 

Farm Aid 2019 will be held at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy on Saturday, September 21. The lineup includes a long list of entertainers including regulars Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Bonnie Raitt, Margo Price, and Tanya Tucker. 

"We'll have Wisconsin farmers on the stage, in front of cameras, talking about what the challenges are, the opportunities and the solutions," Farm Aid Communications Director Jennifer Fahy said.

The annual Farm Aid festival has raised $57 million for family farmers since they started in 1985. The organization says Farm Aid 2019 is in response to a severe crisis in farm country.

"I think it's really important, particularly now when the economy has been so bad and farmers stress levels have been so high," Fahy said. "It's important they receive that recognition and we tell them how much we need them."

A state report found Wisconsin lost about 700 dairy farms in 2018. Also, the price farmers receive for their milk has dropped about 40-percent since 2014. Chaz Self and his family own Grassway Organics in East Troy. The farm is just a couple miles away from Alpine Valley.

"If you go to work one day and all of a sudden your boss says to you, you're going to get paid half of what you were paid yesterday and you're going to have to deal with it, that's the reality that all farmers face in most cases," Self said.

Farm Aid travels all around the country, and for the second time in its 34 year run, organizers chose the Dairy State to host it. The music festival gives farmers a stage to connect with consumers.

"Most farmers, like ourselves, are consumed in 12-hour work days, and the last thing we're noticing is what's going on in the public and how much do people know," Self said. "So to have an event like this is great for all of us."

Tickets for 2019 Farm Aid go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 12. Ticket prices range from $54.50 to $249.50 and will be available for purchase at LiveNation.com. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be made available for sale beginning at 10 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, July 10, at farmaid.org/festival.



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