Why Luke Bryan Says His Farm Tour Is a ‘Spiritual’ Experience
For Luke Bryan, the Farm Tour isn’t merely a concert — it's a spiritual experience.
Since launching the tour in 2010, Bryan has partnered with farms across the country to turn fields into concert arenas. His Farm Tour draws thousands of fans for a good cause: To raise money and awareness for the farmers he sings about in his countless hits.
It's become a beloved tradition for the singer, farmers and fans alike, and began as just a handful of shows at farms in towns near Bryan's alma mater, Georgia Southern University.
"There's always a lot of nostalgia about Farm Tour," Bryan reflects in a call with Taste of Country, the Boot and other media. "It is like the most spiritual moment for me. I'm always happy on stage, and Farm Tour, I go to another level of being amazed and happy onstage."
Part of that euphoria comes from Bryan's passion for the farming community. Raised in rural Georgia as the son of a peanut farmer, the country star still knows the hard work and dedication that go into farming. That's why he uses his tour as a way to "showcase and honor what the farmers do."
"I think we see it more and more where people go to the grocery store and they truly don't understand. So many people think things just appear in a grocery store," Bryan observes. "I think the more we can grow the awareness of what farmers do for the world and our country and our economy, moving forward, always doing a better job at showcasing my relationship with the farmer."
The superstar singer is intentional about giving back in more ways than one. When the tour began, Bryan distributed scholarships to students from farming or agriculture backgrounds so they could attend local community colleges. He has built upon this effort by forming a longtime partnership with Bayer on the Farm Tour, to provide meals for people in need and bring systemic change to food insecurity. According to Feeding America, 42 million people — 13 million of which are children — may experience food insecurity in 2021.
Bryan admits that when he and Bayer began their partnership in 2015, he was unfamiliar with the term "food insecurity," but since then, Bayer has donated nearly five million meals through Feeding America, with more than 180,000 going to food banks and local farmers in Farm Tour towns. This effort has grown into the ongoing initiative, #HerestotheFarmer, wherein every time the hashtag is used on social media, Bayer will donate a meal to a family in need through Feeding America. Bryan is proudly using his platform to bring awareness to such a critical issue.
"If you're a fan of mine, you know my background, you know where I come from. With Bayer and the history of Farm Tour, if we can use my voice to bring more awareness to legitimate problems in American society, I think it's a natural fit for me to really fly that flag and talk about it and bring awareness," he says of the sense of pride he feels in elevating Bayer's mission of "health for all and hunger for none."
"There’s a lot of things that are being missed in our country right now — and I'll stay away from those and let a lot of people handle those — but if I can really talk about food insecurity and really work with Bayer, I think it's a wonderful thing that I get to do," Bryan says. "I'm happy to bring awareness to it.”
Through the years, Bryan has formed a special bond with the farmers who have generously provided their land for his shows, noting that many of the families are generational farmers. The singer recalls visiting one farm where a family member had died in a farming accident, while the patriarch of another family joked during his final days that in the event of his passing, to not cancel the Farm Tour. It’s memories like these that the singer holds dear and are at the heart of the mission of the Farm Tour.
"When we go into these farms, these families they're really skeptical. So if we can leave that environment where they truly respect our organization and respect how we went about coming onto their farm, these are the feel-good stories that make us really smile about our team,” Bryan says. "When we can come into their farm and perform and watch them get emotionally inspired when I'm on their farm singing ‘Drink a Beer’ and they've lost a family member, it really helps that farming family heal. Those are the stories that really put a smile on my face."
Bryan will hold onto this feeling as the Farm Tour grows, with a goal of retuning to the southeastern U.S. The tour is a way for the superstar to reconnect with his rural roots.
"As long as everybody's having fun and the fans are flocking, I can't imagine we would ever slow down. It would be progressively moving always forward. The main thing is continue to enjoy doing it and having feel good vibes around Farm Tour," Bryan says of his vision for the future of the tour. "I've been really blessed in my career. So from here until the end of my career, if you see me doing something, I want people to feel like I'm doing it out of 100 percent love."
Fans can continue to share #HerestotheFarmer through Dec. 1 to donate a meal through Bayer and Feeding America.