Today (10/12) is National Farmer’s Day. It is a day to pay tribute to the hardworking people who labor to put food on American tables. There has always been a solid relationship between country music and farm life. Farming has been the subject of many country songs through the years. Alabama and Waylon Jennings released songs about the farm in the 1980s. And, of course, Willie Nelson has long advocated for the farmer with his Farm Aid, which he began in 1985 with Neil Young and John Mellencamp. (Dave Matthews and Margo Price have since been added to the board.). Farm Aid has raised millions of dollars for the American farmer for years.

Luke Bryan comes from a peanut farm in Georgia and often champions the farmer and raises money for them once a year on his annual Farm Tour. When he announced his 2023 Farm Tour, which wrapped a few weeks ago, Luke said, “One of the reasons we created these Farm Tour shows – to bring the big-city tour to the people. These nights are one-of-a-kind, and we really enjoy getting to know the farmers and their families. Love the whole atmosphere of playing on these incredible farms and watching entire communities come together and get excited about these shows.”

Bryan also noted how much his Farm Tour has grown. He said, “The Farm Tour has grown throughout the years, and the fact that we can set a stage up in a hayfield or some field and people flock to it is what I envisioned when I created Farm Tour, and to obviously help some kids with scholarships and stuff like that. But the Farm Tour has grown every year, and it’s always something we look forward to. It’s really an exciting time to be able to just be out on a farm on a Fall night.”

He added, “Sometimes it’s cool, and everybody’s got, it’s perfect jacket weather, and everybody’s just enjoying music and having fun, and it’s happening in these little towns that have never gotten a show like this. So, it’s always fun knowing that I leave these little towns, and they can go, ‘Hey, we got to go party out in a field and hear a bunch of Nashville country music singers roll in,’ and give ’em a great show. So many great memories through the years.” Since 2009, when the Farm Tour began, Luke has granted 78 college scholarships to students from farming families to their local college or university near the tour stops.

Here are six songs about farm life.

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  • "Where The Green Grass Grows" - Tim McGraw · 1998

    The song tells the story of a man leaving the big city and returning to the country. It was released on July 13, 1998, as the fifth single from McGraw’s “Everywhere” album. The lyrics include, “Raise our kids where the good Lord’s blessed / Point our rockin’ chairs towards the West / And plant our dreams where the peaceful river flows / Where the green grass grows.”

  • "Here's To The Farmer" - Luke Bryan · 2016

    This song was released as part of an “extended” play released before Bryan’s annual Farm Tour concert series, held in October of every year. It was his first release to accompany the Farm Tour. The music video for the song shows farm life, Luke standing in a field singing and his crew setting up for his farm tour, which plays farm in the U.S., raising money for farmers all over the country. The lyrics include, “Here’s to the farmer that plants the fields in the spring / That turn from green to that harvest honey / Hold one up for the banker downtown / That got him on his feet with handshake money / Here’s to the farmer’s wife / That loves him every night / Raising a son, raising a daughter / They gather ’round the table, send it up to the Father / Somehow they get closer when times get harder / Here’s to the farmer.”

  • "High Cotton" - Alabama · 1989

    This song from Country Music Hall of Fame members Alabama came out in the 1980s when the band peaked. The song is a reminiscence of the narrator’s youth, who explains how his younger days were so good and how he didn’t realize how the times would change. The lyrics include, “We were walkin’ in high cotton / Old times there are not forgotten / Those fertile fields are never far away, / We were walkin’ in high cotton / Old time there are not forgotten, / Leavin’ home was the hardest thing we ever faced.”

  • "International Harvester" - Craig Morgan · 2006

    This song is being re-released as a duet with Lainey Wilson. Lainey says of the remake, “It’s an absolute honor to be a part of this record. I remember the first time I ever heard ‘International Harvester’ and the feeling I got knowing that there was music being written that felt like it was made just for me. I come from a family of farmers, so it’s really a full circle moment to be on this track alongside my good friend Craig.” The lyrics include, “‘Cause I’m a son of a 3rd generation farmer / I’ve been married 10 years to a farmer’s daughter / I got 2 boys in the county 4-H / I’m a lifetime sponsor of the F.F.A. / Hay! That’s what I make / I make a lotta hay for a little pay / But / I’m proud to say / I’m a God-fearin’ hard workin’ combine driver / Hoggin’ up the road on my a p-p-p-plower / Chug a lug a lugin’ 5 miles an hour / On my International Harvester.”

  • "Who's Your Farmer" - Chris Janson · 2017

    Chris released this song as a fun album cut from his Everybody album in 2017. The chorus sings, “Who keeps plantin’ them kisses on your South Georgia lips / Dancin’ in the rain with my hands on your hips / Who lays your life out in pretty little rows / Who keeps that red dirt between your pretty toes / Oh, say my name, let it echo through the holler / Who’s your farmer.”

  • "Big Green Tractor" - Jason Aldean · 2009

    This song was released in May 2009 as the second single from Aldean’s 2009 album Wide Open and the eighth single of his career. The song became the singer’s third number-one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in September of that year. The lyrics include, “And I can take you for a ride on my big green tractor / We can go slow or make it go faster / Down through the woods and out to the pasture / Long as I’m with you it really don’t matter / Climb up in my lap and drive if you want to / Girl, you know you got me to hold on to / We can go to town but baby, if you’d rather / I’ll take you for a ride on my big green tractor.”

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