Country music stars brought fun and heart to what has been a challenging year Wednesday (Dec. 9) by helping raise donations for Farm Rescue, a North Dakota-based nonprofit.
Farm Rescue volunteers are known for showing up just in time, when farmers facing a crisis have nowhere else to turn.
The Farm Must Go On by John Deere, a virtual benefit concert performed at the Brooklyn Bowl In Nashville, Tenn., featured performances from Dustin Lynch, Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton, Travis Denning and Tyler Farr.
"You sit down at the table and everything that you're consuming is someone else's doing," Lynch told viewers, who tuned in on YouTube. "There are a lot of guys and girls responsible for feeding this country, and a lot of other countries. Taking care of those families who've had a difficult year, a lot of us have (this year), is important."
The concert raised a total of more than $280,000 through individual donations and John Deere's company match.
This total includes:
Farr told viewers that having grown up in a Missouri farming community, he knows how important it is to support farm families.
"It's a very special thing to country music artists because that's what our country was founded on," he said.
Viewers were introduced to three farm families who were helped by Farm Rescue volunteers following tragedies in their lives. They shared their stories in the following videos featured during the show.
The Boehm Family
In July 2019, Jess Boehm suffered a traumatic brain injury when her horse lost its footing and she was slammed to the ground. Jess spent weeks in the hospital with her husband Levi Boehm at her side. With harvest time approaching, Farm Rescue volunteers helped harvest the family's wheat and barley crops.
The Ivesdal Farm
In March 2020, Paul Ivesdal was diagnosed with COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator at the hospital. In the weeks that followed, he didn't have the strength to get out of bed, never mind into a tractor. That's when Farm Rescue volunteers stepped in to help seed 1,000 acres for the Ivesdals.
The Ruzicka Farm
In March 2019, the Spencer Dam in Nebraska broke causing a massive flood that wiped out most of the Ruzickas' 150-year-old family farm. Soon after Farm Rescue volunteers arrived to help cleanup, round up stray cows and rebuild buildings.