Fall and harvest are in the air, and soon, the excitement of thousands of Luke Bryan fans will be flocking to hay fields for this fall’s #FarmTour22. Since 2009, Luke Bryan has been headlining Farm Tours — much of that time in partnership with Bayer, and this year, for the first time, Kroger.
While Bryan is undoubtedly a star attraction, Farm Tours are about showing love to the farmer and connecting people back to the root of Feeding America.
It’s for the farmers
Each year, the Farm Tours rotate around some of America’s most important agricultural areas. Bryan, a Georgia native and the son of a farmer, will set up stages across local farm fields in six states from September 15 to 24. The first stop is Highland Farms in Monroeville, Indiana.
“I grew up in the agriculture community in a small town in South Georgia. We had a peanut mill, and my dad owned a fertilizer company — we were talking to farmers every day,” he said. “The reason I am who I am is from growing up in that small town.”
In addition to participating in Feeding America, hosting the award-winning country artist, and the celebratory #HerestotheFarmer hashtag, hosting farms will receive a $5,000 donation.
Like in his new video, Country On, Bryan wants to lift farmers up. In an interview with AGDAILY, Bryan said, “Every year, we’re asking farmers to do more as the challenges to farm get tougher and tougher. When you look at diesel prices when you look at land prices.”
Bryan continued, “Farmers are no different than front-line workers, firemen, policemen. Often, they’re doing this work and not making a lot of money. Any time they get uplifted, showcased, shown love, and positive feedback, that goes a long, long way in these farming communities.”
Bryan’s love for farming extends from the fields to dairy farms and the kids taking up the challenge of agriculture for the future. When talking about recent visits to dairy farms, the country star said, “When I can really get to the farm, I can promote what I see about how these families rally together. How the families come together to make farms work, nothing’s more inspiring than kids that take on the challenges of their parents, and dairy farming is one of the most prolific in all of that.
He encourages agriculture youth to “go into the one field that inspires you every day. Be the best in your field, go be the hardest working in your field, and then, be most respected.”
It’s to Feed America
The best part about the Farm Tours is that not only do they provide an opportunity to celebrate farmers, but also to expand access to the nutritious products farmers are raising through the #HerestotheFarmer hashtag. Every time the tag is used on a social channel, Bayer will donate a meal to someone in need through the Feeding America network. Altogether, the campaign will donate up to one million meals to needy communities.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there’s never been a better time. More than 38 million people in the U.S., including 12 million children, are currently facing food insecurity. And in the coming months across the globe, the numbers of food insecure people are set to rise as much as 240 million.
It’s for the fans
Each year, the Bayer and Bryan partnership adds another million people to a list of families fed. With Kroger getting in on the action, the stores will feature Farm Tour signage and the first-ever Farm Tour Sweepstakes, which gave fans a chance at winning a VIP experience with Luke Bryan himself, two tickets to a Farm Tour concert, a hotel stay, round-trip flight, and more.
With the majority of Americans now three generations removed from the farm, companies such as Kroger are celebrating that produce gets its start with the farmer. Seventy-six percent of Americans see empty shelves in stores. Organizations like Feeding America and Kroger are helping the public understand that farmers are on the front line of the food crisis.
“When you look at vegetarians, meat lovers, whatever, farmers are out producing food to eat — not the grocery store. There are real, live Americans out there looking to get food to Kroger,” Bryan said.
It’s for music
There’s no doubt that Bryan’s music has been inspired by farming, with hits such as Here’s To the Farmer, Love Me in a Field, Welcome to the Farm, Rain is a Good Thing, and Down on the Farm. However, his natural partnership with Bayer and Kroger makes the country artist excited about inviting his music peers out to the farm.
“A lot of my peers know that I come from a farming background, but Farm Tours are a really special, unique thing that started from a humble beginning of wanting to do a couple concerts in the field in my home state of Georgia,” Bryan said. He tells those peers, “Come out, check a farm tour, get onto the stage, and watch the heartland of America come to watch country music. I feel like Farm Tour embodies a lot of the American spirit, heartland, the element of hard work, and people coming together and loving one another. “
The connection between Bryan, other country artists, farmers, and fans includes a connection to a company that supports agriculture: “The most rewarding thing is the hands-on ability that I have to talk with Bayer on a regular basis, it’s a true partnership with them. It’s not like they walked in one day, wrote Luke a check, and started pushing this narrative. Bayer comes to farm tours, they get out there in the dirt, grass, and dust.”
Heidi Crnkovic, is the Associate Editor for AGDAILY. She is a New Mexico native with deep-seated roots in the Southwest and a passion for all things agriculture.