RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thousands of people came to Raleigh on Saturday for Farm Aid 2022, a festival jam-packed with concerts, food, and conversations on climate change.
“This is for the farmers, so you farmers out there, we’re behind you all the way,” singer Willie Nelson said during a conference earlier in the day on Saturday, before the concerts kicked off.
Nelson founded Farm Aid three decades ago.
Other artists were also at the event putting on shows, including Chris Stapleton, Sheryl Crow, and more, but the focus of the day was on helping farmers through climate change.
“Extreme weather and increased unpredictability make what has always been a hard job even harder, exacerbated by climate change,” one Farm Aid organizer said.
During the earlier conference, local farmers and fishermen talked about the challenges they’ve faced recently, including changes in weather and soil. Then, just an hour or so later, people were able to learn more about farming hands-on.
“It’s great, people don’t realize [when] they go to the store, they see food show up and it’s like, well, someone had to put it on the truck,” said Lyle Beck, a Jacksonville, Florida resident who traveled to North Carolina for the festival.
With farm animals, farm fresh food, and farm traditions on display, concertgoers were able to hear about the work that goes into putting food on plates.
Some local farmers say a big part of making farming more sustainable is getting the younger generation involved.
“When kids understand the need for farming and sustainability and how climate change affects everything right down to the viability and health of their animals, they really pay attention,” Amanda McKee said.
Farm Aid organizers say they just want to spread the word about climate change, and do whatever they can to keep small farmers on their own land.
The concerts benefit farmers across the country, but Farm Aid organizers say they work year-round to help those who feed us.