Two graduates of the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources hosted a Luke Bryan Farm Tour concert this fall for the second year. The annual two-week series takes place every fall on farms across the country. This year, the tour stopped in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois, with the final stop at the Stowers Farm in Centralia, Missouri, on Oct. 7.
Both Kara and Greg Stowers graduated from CAFNR in 2000, with degrees in animal sciences and agriculture, respectively. Their family farm has sat off Possum Walk Road in Centralia for more than 120 years and raises corn, beans, wheat and cattle. In October of 2016, more than 15,000 attendees gathered on a 30-acre plot of their land for Bryan’s show. The huge success of the show, Greg said, is what led to the continued partnership.
The relationship between the Stowers and the Farm Tour originated when a former host of the tour contacted Greg about hosting a concert. From there, the Stowers researched and discussed what an event like this would entail. Amid their searching, they found out that Luke Bryan often donated a portion of the proceeds back into the agriculture community through scholarships for students at nearby universities.
“I don’t think we would just let any singer come out and do this,” Kara said. “He’s a good person. He cares about people and what he does.”
Greg agreed. “Just the fact that he would put money back into the community … that was pretty awesome,” he said.
Following the 2016 concert, Bryan sent a check along with a letter addressed to Mark Langworthy, CAFNR senior director for advancement.
“This past October your community allowed me to come into your area and share my music,” Bryan wrote. “The community’s hospitality meant a lot to me and I appreciate the support I received. Coming from a farming family I know what it means to be part of an agriculture background and the hard work that goes into the profession.”
Bryan also indicated that he wanted the donation to be used for scholarships to a student from a farming family that has financial need. Seven CAFNR students benefited from the first Luke Bryan Farm Tour Scholarship. The Stowers believe this donation is a wise investment.
“CAFNR provides a well-rounded experience — the professors care. They want to see you succeed,” Greg said.
“The college of agriculture prepares you for what’s to come in the real world. I really believe that,” Kara said. “They helped me grow up and become a better person and to be able to compete in the workforce and get my job.”
The check was not the only scholarship donation, however. After the festivities, Bryan also signed an MU football jersey which the Stowers donated to CAFNR’s Ag Unlimited fundraiser for the silent auction.
The 2017 Luke Bryan Farm Tour was presented by Bayer and featured Jon Pardi. Additional opening acts included Jon Langston and The Peach Pickers. The rain from the previous four days cleared up for the concert, leaving attendees with temperatures in the 60s and clear skies. Photos from the event may be found at: flickr.com/photos/cafnr/albums/72157686869763291/with/23744696568/.