The star sings the praises of farming ahead of his 8th annual Farm Tour
Credit: Lester Cohen/Getty

Growing up in Leesburg, Georgia, surrounded by peanut and corn fields, Luke Bryan learned to be as comfortable in a vegetable patch as he is singing on stage – and he’s determined his own kids keep that connection to the land.

“We did a big sweet corn patch this summer and the boys will hop on the John Deere Gator and ride down and pick some corn,” Bryan says of sons Bo, 8, and Tate, 6, and his nephew, Til, 14, whom he’s also raising.

“To be able to take your boys and go from the process of picking the corn and getting it ready to boil and then having sweet corn, it helps them understand where things come from.”

It’s a lesson Bryan wants to spread again this year as he kicks off his eighth annual Farm Tour on Oct. 5, bringing his live show to eight farm fields across the south and Midwest. “Our country tends to forget every time we sit down and eat that people are out there working hard to keep us fed,” Bryan says.

The singer has made it something of a mission to honor the farmer, recently releasing “Here’s to the Farmer,” one of five new tracks on his Farm Tour EP, out this week, and donating a portion of his Farm Tour profits to funding college scholarships for kids from farming families.

“A lot of these kids don’t want to leave their family because they want be one more hand around the farm,” Bryan, 40, says. “So knowing that you kick-started them getting a great education is pretty special.”

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Bryan is also partnering with Bayer, his farm tour sponsor, to donate $5,000 in Bayer agricultural products to one farm family each night of the tour and he’s encouraging fans to Tweet about the company’s Thankful4Ag program that provides meals to needy families through Feeding America. Last year, with support from Bryan’s fans, the company donated 300,000 meals, and this year Bryan says they’ve raised their goal to a half million meals.

“We want people to know we’re not just in there to make money,” Bryan says of the outreach. “We want to leave a lasting impression.”