Congratulations to Scott Fab, Mary Bragg, and Rupert Wates – winners of the first ever, first annual, FARM Song Contest. Each of these three fantastic songwriters will perform during a showcase at the FARM Conference in Iowa City, October 19 – 22, 2017. They were the top three among 121 songs submitted by 48 artists.

Brianna Lane of The Warming House, a listening room in the heart of Minneapolis, was the marvelous coordinator of the contest. Judges were Brianna, John Louis also of The Warming House, Nancy Emrich-Freeman of Lilfest, and singer / songwriter Kerry Patrick Clark. The judges had a difficult time choosing among all the wonderful entries. “The diversity of the songs, the quality, and the different tastes of the judges all made it a very interesting and difficult process” Lane said. Songs were judged on lyrics, musicality, enjoyability, and performance execution. At first entrees were narrowed down to 10 semifinalists, then to five finalists, with the top three earning the showcase spots.

Following is a little bit about the three wining artists and their songs:

First Place – showcasing FRIDAY, October 20th at 8pm – Mary Bragg

With candor and subtlety, Mary Bragg’s songs probe the common journey to discover our truest selves outside of the communities in which we are raised. Now based in Nashville, songs from her 2017 release Lucky Strike have won the 2017 Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.  Mary’s song entry Comet can be heard HERE.



Second Place – showcasing Saturday, October 21st at 8pm – Scott Fab

Detroit area singer-songwriter Scott Fab took second place in the FARM Song Contest.  His music sets the sound of Midwest desolation over the bare bones of an acoustic guitar. His new album Leave My Friends chronicles the complex nature of relationships and loss with an assured melancholy built around the brittle memories that cling tightly to our subconscious. Scott’s song entry Leave My Friends can be heard HERE.


Third Place – showcasing Thursday at 10:48pm – Rupert Wates

Rupert Wates was born in London and has been based in the US since 2007. He has won over 30 songwriting and performing awards. In the last two years, two tribute albums to his material were recorded by performers in Nashville and Los Angeles. Rupert’s song entry After The Rains can be heard HERE.

Official FARM Playlist
We are currently featuring our 2017 Official Showcase artists! Give a listen - you can expect more of this at this year's FARM conference!
Friends of FARM


Laura Lind
Andy Cohen
Mark Dvorak
Two Way Street Coffee House
Curt Joa
Sue Kessell
Tim Grimm
Sandy Andina
Deb Kirmer – Last Minute Folk Concerts
Annie Capps
Sue Kessell (WNUR)
West Bethesda Folk Music Conferences
Patty Stevenson and Craig Siemsen
JLMartin Music

Visit our Sponsorship page for more info.

Future FARM Dates


Dates for future FARM Conferences:

Grand Rapids, MI

Crowne Plaza Grand Rapids Airport Hotel
5700 28th Street
Grand Rapids, MI
* October 25 – 28, 2018
* October 24 – 27, 2019
* October 22 – 25, 2020


Dates of the 2017 FARM Conference:

In Iowa City, IA
* October 19 – 22, 2017

FARM States & Provinces

North Dakota
South Dakota