Nashville recording artist Stephanie Nash has a passion for helping others while she is on her own journey. Not only is Nash pursuing her dreams as a country music singer and songwriter, she also works on her family’s dairy farm in Tennessee — a far cry from the state where she got her start in agriculture.
Growing up on a dairy farm in California as a fourth-generation farmer, Nash’s love for this industry started at a young age. She is quick to note that her music and her passion for agriculture go hand in hand.
Funny as it may be, Nash didn’t always plan on being a singer/songwriter. After meeting Charlie Daniels’ godson on her family farm, Nash decided to get back into music.
“He is the one who got me back into writing and going out and networking and finding people that I could write good music with,” she says. “The last two years I have been writing in Nashville, I found people who really want to write good country music.”
Nash continues, “Getting back into it was a funny story. I wasn’t planning on it — it just kind of happened. I knew if I didn’t go for it now, I would regret it.”
Nash really wants to show her side of growing up on a farm through her music. In today’s music industry, some country music singers talk about it, but too often they didn’t actually experience the hardships and the values of growing up on a farm.
Nash’s latest single, “Time Changes,” was written after she heard that California’s bullet train was taking land away from farmers without paying them. The song explains the struggles that farmers deal with every day due to an evolving society that doesn’t always appreciate agriculture. It took Nash only 45 minutes to write down her emotions and feelings and create a song that farmers everywhere can agree on — times are changing. Two short months later, she recorded the song which is now on streaming services such as Spotify and on YouTube:
To continue her passion for helping farmers connect to their consumers, Nash started her a video series on YouTube — Life of a Farmer. In the series, Nash travels across the U.S. — from the ranches of Montana to her dairy farm in Tennessee — helping to tell the story of the American farmer. She talks about why agriculture is so important and why it’s vital to know the farming community.
“I have been wanting to do it for two years now,” she says. “Once I had the idea, I then had to finance it myself. I wanted to get the word out there about farmers.”
Nash was largely inspired by watching her dad advocate for dairy farmers in California.
“I really love the advocacy part of agriculture,” she says. “I think as time has gone by, regulations have changed things, and people’s opinions of farmers have changed. I wanted to raise that awareness back, to how we were 10 years ago when people would come on the farm and you wouldn’t have to worry about videos perceiving a different idea of the farm or people not understanding what you do on a day-to-day basis. I want to show that these are families and this is their livelihood. This is what they love to do, and they cherish every moment, which is kind of why I started this series — just the advocacy of agriculture.”
Nash also loves the connections she has made through this series. A lot of the farm families she met came through connections she already had or from social media. The first season of videos highlight families from Kansas, Montana, Tennessee, and South Carolina. You can subscribe to a Life of Farmer here.
From this experience, Nash said she has learned so much about the different lifestyles of farmers and ranchers.
“I think so far, Montana has really opened my eyes to what goes on when you are in the middle of nowhere. Montana is so open and is a huge cattle state. I never knew the challenges that they had,” she says.
For example, Nash cites big corporations coming in and buying land away from the farmers.
“Learning about that was very interesting to me, about what they could and could not do under some regulations there,” Nash says. “I am from California originally, so I know all about regulations and know about the awful things agriculture has to go through just to produce food for people.”
Nash is also looking forward to releasing the music video to go along with the “Time Changes” song. The music video will show the reality of what is happening to farmers.
In addition to her video series and new single, Nash has also set up a FFA scholarship. The scholarship, which is due December 1, 2020, will help FFA chapters looking to improve themselves. Learn more about the Time Changes Scholarship here.