With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, we can't help but shine a light on an artist who always gives back to his community. Luke Bryan is a country music star who uses his platform to pay it forward in a huge way, especially with his Farm Tour and his longtime support of farmers.
Luke Bryan's Farm Tour started in 2009 to give back to the local farming communities, with proceeds from the tour going to charities and creating scholarships for students of farmers.
"Growing up in a farming family in rural Georgia, I know how hard farming can be even on a good year, and how hard those families work- from sun-up to sundown," Bryan said in a statement. "After the challenges we have all faced in the last year with so many people losing their jobs, struggling to put food on their tables, food supply chains jeopardized, grocery stores struggling to keep food on the shelves in some areas, it is so apparent to me, and I hope everyone, why our farmers are truly the backbone of our country. They never stopped providing for all of us. Ever."
As the son of a peanut farmer, Bryan grew up helping his family in the agriculture business. Now, he's teaching his own children the value of farm work.
"The beauty of farm work is that it does instill a lot of values," Bryan told Farm Progress. "If I get my children, and there's a 15-acre field that we need to go out there and till up and get ready for planting, when we're done tilling up the 15 acres, my children can look back and go, 'You know what? We just did that, and we put in a great day's work and it was really, really satisfying and gratifying.' It teaches you the only way things get done is to go out there and make it get done."
Bryan's 2021 Farm Tour was his twelfth since 2009. Since the tour's launch, Bryan has granted 66 scholarships to students from farming families who are attending the local college or university near the tour stops.
Here's to the Farmer
In 2016, Bryan released "Here's To The Farmer" as part of the EP Farm Tour...Here's to the Farmer.
Earlier this year, Bryan partnered with Fendt, an agriculture equipment maker, on a video series called Rise Before Sunrise With Luke Bryan. The series featured Bryan working his farm on his Fendt 724 Gen6 tractor and musing that he's a better farmer than his friend Blake Shelton.
"Blake calls me all the time, he lives in Oklahoma," Bryan explains in the series. "It's pretty dry there and he's pretty jealous of how much rain we get in Tennessee so, sorry Blake, if you're in Oklahoma, eat your heart out here in Tennessee. I've actually seen Blake Shelton do farming type stuff...no question, I'm a better farmer than Blake. On a Yelp review, I'll give him three and a half stars out of five."
The American Idol judge has also worked closely with ACM Lifting Lives, a philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.
Bryan and his family also support the Brett Boyer Foundation, which brings awareness to congenital heart defects. The foundation was created in honor of Bryan's niece, Sadie Brett Boyer. Bryan and his wife established Brett's Barn, a therapy center for children battling illnesses. The farm features various animals, including a pony and alpacas.
"We all can imagine what parents go through and even the siblings, when they have a sick sibling. It's really special watching some of the kids come in, and even the parents," Bryan said (quote via Taste of Country). "Brett's Barn is continuing to morph into something pretty amazing. We've got some really fun stuff in the horizon that we've been working really hard on to get going."
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