Each year, farm fields across the Midwest are flooded with country music fans for “Luke Bryan’s annual Farm Tour.” During the six stops in 2017, Bryan used the national stage to salute America’s farmers, with the “Here’s to the Farmer” campaign.
His passion for agriculture is rooted deep. Growing up in rural Georgia, he was immersed in agriculture from the day he was born.
“I grew up taking soil samples with my dad, scouting cotton in the summers,” Bryan told Tyne Morgan of U.S. Farm Report. “When I would leave Georgia Southern in the summers, I would go and scout 2,000 to 3,000 acres of cotton all summer.”
With farming in his blood, Bryan came up with the idea for the Luke Bryan Farm Tour nearly a decade ago.
“It started small,” he said. “I think our first farm tour show had about 1,800 to 2,000 people there.”,
Today, the tour draws closer to 20,000 fans per show.
“We're on a working farm,” he said. “When the fans roll in the gate, and we have the opportunity to salute the American farmer, it’s a win.”
Bryan says while he helps draw in a crowd, the meaning of the Farm Tour digs much deeper than a concert.
“Through the years - through our partnership with Bayer - we've gotten really crafty in going from scholarships, to saluting the American farmer, to donating meals to hungry families,” said Bryan.
“I think our farmers and our ranchers in this country are underappreciated,” said Lauren Dorsch, communications manager for Bayer. “I don't think a lot of consumers understand how that really yummy chicken and steak and corn and beans, they don't know how it gets to their table. This is one opportunity with the “here’s to the farmer” campaign to help consumers appreciate the farmers that put that food on their table.”
It’s recognizing the challenges of farming that Bryan is highlighting on a national stage, while using the power of social media to give back.
“We're partnering with Feeding America, and every time somebody uses the #herestothefarmer hashtag, we donate a meal,” said Dorcsh. “Last year we reached half a million meals with Feeding America, and this year we're upping the goal and going for a million meals.”
It’s a big goal, but one the company hopes to reach with the help of one of country music’s biggest stars.
“It's been an amazing ride, and I think it's morphed into a special tribute to our farmers,” said Bryan.