A group of Scott County citizens are hoping that a weekend of food and music can help farmers through the poor season. Inspired by the Farm Aid concerts established by John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson in the mid-80s, the two days’ worth of concerts will go into a fund to aid Scott County farmers who are having a hard time dealing financially with the hard planting season.
Hollie White, one of the event’s organizers says that the way things came together was fairly organic. “When it first started, I was hoping we would get some national acts in here. I tried contacting as many people as I could, but that financially just wasn’t able to happen. Then, we got a lot of local acts who started commenting on wanting to perform. Many of the groups and bands have ties to Scott County. I’ve got California Jeff coming, who says he just loves farmers. Most of the bands have donated their time to this and we are really appreciative.”
The lineup Saturday includes Lenny & Molly, California Jeff, Shannon Wood, Jobe Shores, Midwest Avenue, and The Band Relativity. Sunday’s line up is Gianna Hines, local comedian Rosa Speaker, Sarah & The Underground, Harmony Grits, and Exit 52.
White says there will be food vendors available both days and that she is still looking for vendors to attend. “It’s $35 if you come Saturday and pay for both days. If you come for Saturday only, it’ll be $25 and if you come Sunday only it’s $15. There’s going to be food vendors, craft vendors, tupper-ware that sort of thing. We are still looking for vendors for this weekend. If you have a food truck or crafts, bring them out. Let’s see what you got. They can get ahold of me or Carolyn McGee on FaceBook and come on down with what you have got to sell.”
White says that the point of it all is to help local farmers get by through the hard times this year has brought. The money will go into an account at Farmers State Bank. Farmers can sign up for relief at firstname.lastname@example.org to get added to the list for distribution of funds that are collected this weekend. White says the only stipulation to be on the list is that you have to be a crop farmer within Scott County, not a farmer who lives in Scott County and farms in another county. She said it doesn’t matter the size of the farm, the aid isn’t meant to turn anyone away. The deadline to sign up is December 31st for the fund distribution. “After that date, we’ll distribute the funds we raised, close the account, and who knows if we’ll have rain like this next year,” White said.
White hopes there isn’t a next year in this instance. “People keep asking me if I’m going to do this next year, if I’m going to make it an annual event. I’ve said all along that I hope we don’t have that much rain next year. I hope we don’t have a need like this, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be another need somewhere in the county.” White says it will depend upon community involvement further down the line. White said that the event came together over a 3-month time frame. “I was sick for half of the organization time, so it really came together in a month and a half. We had a really small group of people that went into the planning process. When you work with bands, they are often booked months or even years in advance so it can be a challenge. There were a couple bands that really wanted to be a part of this benefit this year but they couldn’t get the weekend off.”
The benefit weekend kicks off on Saturday at Plum Creek Golf Course from 2-11PM and restarts on Sunday from 1-8PM.