The future of agriculture lies with the young men and women who live and work on family farms across the state.
They know every inch of their land from the culverts to fence posts and barns and machine sheds to the farmhouse where they lay their head down to rest after a long day of working the land.
Trenton Scott is one such farmer.
A fourth generation farmer, Scott has an associate of science degree in agriculture from State Fair Community College and a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from the University of Central Missouri.
Wednesday night Scott returned to his roots, not to the farm, but to SFCC to perform with his band Bluestem as the opening act for Courtney Cole on CMT’s Empowering Education Initiative Tour.
“I’ve been blessed,” Scott said by phone Tuesday afternoon after coming in from the fields and before heading to practice with his band. “I have an amazing family who has given me the opportunity to work on my family farm and pursue my dreams with the band.
“If it came down to having the opportunity to make it big and follow my music or farm, my family understands that chances to make it in entertainment don’t come along every day, but the land is a constant,” he added. “They have given me their blessing if the opportunity does arise and I appreciate that from them more than they will ever know.”
Scott along with his “good friends for life,” Corey Masterson, Brenton Yates and Andrew Beeman have been playing together as a group since they were teens.
“Drew and I grew up together and we had a passion for country music,” Scott said. “We started practicing together and we just took off from there.
“Our styles matched and when Corey and Brenton came on we shifted gears we evolved into Red Dirt Country, which is a blend of music from Texas and Oklahoma and the south,” he added. “But we play to the crowd and whatever they want to hear and the thing with crowds is each one is different.”
Bluestem plays several nights a week and, according to Scott, could be booked probably every night of the week if they chose to.
“We probably could play a lot more and further away but Kansas City and the lake area are about as far away as we travel now because we all have jobs to get back to,” Scott said. “It amazes me how Drew can get back from a gig at three or four in the morning on Saturday and he’ll be at church on Sunday morning playing guitar at the early service; I can’t do that, I have to sleep in until the second service.”
Although Scott is the front man and lead singer for the band, he gives equal credit to his friends for the group’s success.
“The band isn’t just me, I’m just a quarter of it,” Scott was quick to say. “They are 75 percent of it and that’s why we work.
“We’re all in this together and we’re all friends,” he added. “That’s what makes it work.”
Being all in is exactly how Scott described his feelings for farming and his heritage.
“My grandpa is an incredible man,” Scott said proudly. “He built this farm into what it is today and I have so much respect for what he has done and accomplished.
“We have about 2,000 acres that we row crop with primarily corn, soybeans, and wheat,” he added. “It’s not an eight to five job and there is a lot on the line, but what we are doing is trying to feed the world with the work we do each and every day.”
Scott commented that many do not understand or appreciate the work of farmers and the stewardship they hold for the land.
“I look at what my grandpa did for his family, he worked every day of his life on this farm from when he was a little boy up until four years ago when he had a stroke,” Scott said softly. “I was 18 years old and I got the call that it had happened and they had to Life Flight him to Kansas City.
“He’s still with us but he is unable to farm anymore even though we can tell how much he wants to and tries to,” he continued. “He went from working like a 20-year-old to an 80-year-old man that single day. It’s because of him that I had to step it up on the farm big time which I don’t regret and won’t ever.”
Scott lives on the original home place his great-grandfather purchased decades ago and as a sign of respect, Scott wrote a song in tribute to his grandfather titled “Tough.”
“We always try to play some original songs at each of our concerts,” Scott said. “It’s a source of pride for us to not just be a cover band. People really seem to relate to that one because it’s dedicated to the everyday farmer.
“That’s what I see myself as. Five years from now I hope to be married with some children living on the homestead helping to build the farming operation that my family has,” he continued. “Hopefully, we will still be continuing the music career we have and I might be spending part of my time touring and traveling the country on a bus, but the farm is where I’ll always return; it will forever be home.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.