To help combat a widespread dairy farm crisis, Willie Nelson and collaborators Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews will host the 24th annual Farm Aid in the heart of cheese country: the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wis.

The Sept. 21 festival's initial list of performers includes a country and Americana who's-who: Margo Price, Bonnie Raitt, Tanya Tucker, Tim Reynolds (featured in an acoustic set with Matthews), Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Jamey Johnson, Brothers Osborne, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Yola and Nelson's son Micah Nelson's alter-ego, Particle Kid.

The original Farm Aid in 1985 helped answer a wave of farm foreclosures. This year, Nelson and friends face an eerily similar situation: Per Farm Aid, the economy forced an estimated 3,000 dairy farms to close, including nearly 700 in "America's Dairyland," the state of Wisconsin. As a result, Farm Aid's farmer assistant has logged a 109 percent increase in calls in the past year.

“With devastating weather, low prices and harmful farm and trade policies, America’s family farmers are facing immense challenges to hold on to their farms. It’s not right… family farmers are essential for all of us,” Nelson says in a press release.“By bringing our festival to the heart of the struggle, we will stand side by side with farmers. At Farm Aid 2019, we’ll highlight solutions and show our support for family farmers’ contributions to our health, economy and environment.”

Under these circumstances, Wisconsin makes sense as the festival's host location. "We’re bringing Farm Aid to the heartland because we need to show the country what's happening to the people who grow our food and take care of our soil and water," Mellencamp says. "We want family farmers to know that we won’t let them go down without a fight. And neither should you -- farmers need us, and we need farmers."

For further details and ticket pre-sale information, visit the Farm Aid website.

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