Luke Bryan advocates for local farmer food and health access

(ABC 6 News) – In a few weeks, country superstar Luke Bryan will bring his Farm Tour to Eyota for the second year in a row. While he performs his biggest hits, it’s not just about the music. For Bryan, it’s about advocating for rural food and health access.

Bryan is partnering with Bayer for the Take Care, Now Campaign, an effort to alleviate “care deserts” in farm and rural communities across America. Care deserts are places where access to affordable and healthy food, and healthcare is limited.

It’s an issue that hits close to home for many, like Lyle, Minnesota farmer, Naomi Thompson. She says it’s not just about what goes on her table, but getting her goods onto other people’s.

“You know, it’s not an easy thing to be in. There’s tears, there’s struggles,” said Thompson. “People are literally dumping their milk because there’s a shortage on producers and certain trucks and things that’s been going around. So there are a lot of food issues going on in Minnesota right now. That, you know, trying to get the food to the consumer, it’s hard. It’s hard.”

Thompson says getting feed for her goats and rabbits has become an issue. It’s at least an hour round trip to the nearest store. But, there’s no guarantee they have what she needs.

It’s people like country superstar Luke Bryan that can help people like Thompson.

“You know, I just want to live in a world where we can really know that we’ve made it better,” said Bryan. “I mean, you always hear the negativity with stats. With Bayer, I want to make sure that we can see positive gains whether it’s south Georgia, or Minnesota, or all across the Midwest.”

Making it better whether you’re a celebrity or working for Route 1. Marcus Carpenter, the Founder of Route 1, is working to help decrease the racial hunger divide for Minnesota farmers.

“It’s really, how do we help those farmers from the time they grow that food and the time it comes out of the ground. How do we help them get it to the mouths of the people that need it? So it’s really the middle of the supply chain that we need help,” said Carpenter.

Help – with Bryan’s influence. For Thompson, she wants Bryan to use his status to bring the community together.

“If he could get everybody to just rally together, I think that he has a big enough name that he could do that,” said Thompson.

A name and platform Bryan is using to his full advantage.

“Really bang home the awareness and continue as the Farm Tour stays successful to keep remaining on my end, to remain to be very charitable and to always up the ante on that,” said Bryan.

Bryan will perform at the Gar-Lin Dairy Farm in Eyota on Saturday, September 23rd. Tickets can be purchased, here.