New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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“Family farm agriculture is the heart of Pennsylvania,” says Willie Nelson, founder and president of Farm Aid.

Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson onstage for the 32nd annual Farm Aid food and music festival taking place Sept. 16 at the KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa., outside Pittsburgh.

In Pittsburgh, 30 miles east of the concert venue, urban farming has thrived.

By Thom Duffy
Billboard
6/13/2017

Excerpt:

Pennsylvania is also considered the birthplace of organic agriculture and a leader in sustainable agriculture practices. In Pittsburgh, 30 miles east of the concert venue, urban farming has thrived. The organization Grow Pittsburgh has launched more than 60 farms to increase access to fresh food and farm training programs for young people.

“Family farm agriculture is the heart of Pennsylvania,” says Nelson, founder and president of Farm Aid. “What’s happening in western Pennsylvania and the region shows us that we can count on family farmers to strengthen our communities and connect people. Whether we live in rural or urban places, food — and music — brings us all together.”

At the same time, western Pennsylvania has lost 2,539 farms — a 13 percent drop — in the past decade, an example of an economic crisis facing farmers nationwide. Farmers have faced a multiyear slump in crop and livestock prices. Since 2013, America’s farmers and ranchers have weathered a 45 percent drop in net farm income, the largest three-year drop since the start of the Great Depression, Farm Aid reports.

Read the complete article here.