‘Right in the back yard’: Luke Bryan farm tour draws thousands in return to Marshall’s Statz Bros Farm
MARSHALL, Wis. – Country music star Luke Bryan once again kicked off his Farm Tour in Dane County, bringing thousands of fans to Statz Bros farms in Marshall.
Located southeast of Sun Prairie, the family farm says they were ecstatic to learn Bryan wanted to return this year.
“We didn’t know for sure that he’d be back,” said Zach Statz. “It’s good to be here again.”
Since the concert in 2019, Statz says the family farm, which produces a number of crops in addition to dairy production, was hit hard by the pandemic.
“After the pandemic hit, we dumped the milk here down the drain for 24 days straight,” Statz said. “That’s seven semi loads, 53,000 pounds a semi load. That’s all the milk we dumped, day after day. We milked cows for basically free because no one would take the product.”
While Statz says the farm is rebounding now, the impacts of those days still linger.
“Sad. Heartbreak,” he said. “You’ve got tell the people who help us do this every day they’re still going to get paid even though the product they’re getting is going right down the drain.”
Still, he says he and his family are excited to play host once more.
“Things are looking better for the industry. We get to do something cool like this and maybe raise awareness for people. Not only for the concert but so people get out here and see farmland and crops and know we’re still out here. So please support us and buy our products so we can be out here again,” he said.
Hours before showtime, thousands had already gathered in the farm’s expansive makeshift parking lot. For residents of the small town, Thursday’s concert presented a chance to be on the big stage – literally.
“Marshall’s a good small town,” said Josh Ward. “Big family. We’re always here for each other. It means a lot to us that Luke Bryan can come back here and party with us. Knowing that we’re good enough to come back to, it brings the sprits of everybody up.”
Prior to gates opening, hundreds lined up – all hoping to be close enough to the stage to catch a glimpse of their favorite singer, or possibly have him catch a glimpse of them.
“I just want to be on stage with him and hold his hand,” said Lea Kirby, who was attending the concert as a surprise for her 17th birthday. “It kind of felt like it was a dream (when we got the tickets) but now it’s actually real.”
Bryan will head to Cedar Rapids before visiting Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.
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