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Michael Martin Murphey Supporting
Farmers' Freedom Agriculture Alliance

CASHTON, WI — Grammy nominated hit-maker and No. 1 Selling Cowboy Singer Michael Martin Murphey has announced a " Farmers' Freedom Concert" in Cashton, WI, benefiting the Farmers' Freedom Agriculture Alliance.

A longtime advocate for justice and relief for America's farmers and ranchers, Murphey raised millions of dollars for farmers and ranchers in the Panhandle of Texas who were devastated by catastrophic wildfires, and again raised millions for ranchers and farmers who were wiped out by the horrendous blizzards in Colorado in recent years.

Murphey was also involved in raising awareness for the controversial government taking of the Wayne Hage ranch in Nevada, and the Kit Laney ranch in New Mexico. Hage was ultimately successful, but it took more than 10 years of legal battles. Laney is back in the Gila area of New Mexico, after spending one year in a Federal lock-up and one-year under house arrest for refusing to leave his Diamond Bar Ranch.

Specifically, Murphey and the alliance of local citizens, ranchers and farmers are trying to draw attention to an attempted “taking” of property belonging to local dairy farmer Mark Lefke, as well as beginning an alliance that will address other issues in the future, such as the right to sell raw milk.

“This is not about Liberal or Conservative, Left or Right, Democrat or Republican,” said Murphey. “Anyone whose property is taken by eminent domain should be justly compensated - a principal upon which the U.S. Constitution is founded. Farmers and Ranchers should be treated with even more respect. When a farm or ranch is taken, it's a tragic loss of food production for the nation and the world, as well."

The state of Wisconsin is planning to evict Lefke and his family from their home of 25 years to make way for a new interstate linking two small towns - Viroqua and Westby. In the process, the state will, through eminent domain, claim 10 acres cut through the center of Lefke’s farm, including the family’s house. Lefke received a letter informing him to be out March 20th, 2010.

Lefke was told that the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation had hired an expert to estimate what it would take to make Lefke "whole", but when the amount came in at over 1 million, the State balked- yet told Lefke he'd still have to leave.

“The classic line is how they promise to compensate us to make our lives whole again,” said Lefke, who has until March 20 to vacate the property. “But how do you make someone whole again after you’ve cut out their heart? The money they offer is irrelevant. I need the land to survive.”

The festivities begin at 12:00 on Murphey’s birthday with a VIP Farmers' Freedom Fighters Brunch at the Badger Crossing Restaurant in Cashton, followed by a dance during which Murphey will perform at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 for the brunch / dance or $25 for the dance.

“Farmer’s are Wisconsin’s greatest treasure,” said Murphey, a rancher who lives just outside of Westby. “When you take away the land, you take away the resource. It’s just wrong.”

Michael Martin Murphey, who is the number one singer / songwriter of American Cowboy Music, has been a major part of America’s musical landscape for five decades, with hits that include “Wildfire,” “Carolina In The Pines,” “Long Line of Love,” “What Am I Doin’ Hangin’ Round?”, and “Cowboy Logic,” among others.


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