Country artist and songwriter Steve Azar, with the sponsorship of Swenson Investments & Commodities of Sioux Falls and Huron, S.D., has created a new tune honoring the agricultural professionals who drive our regional economy. The single, “American Farmer,” was sold on compact disc at the South Dakota FFA convention to benefit the state FFA Foundation and is getting good play on area country radio stations.

“I’m proud to be part of this celebration of the men and women who have worked so hard to make this country great,” Azar said. “And teaming up with Brad Swenson and the South Dakota FFA helps show our support for the next generation of farm families and ag related businesses.”

Azar met Swenson, president of an investment and commodities company that works extensively with ag producers, at a charity event. A month later, Swenson asked Azar if he would write a song showing their mutual appreciation for American farmers.

Steve Azar, a Mississippi native, began writing songs at age 10. In 2001, Azar recorded his first album Waitin' on Joe with Mercury Records, which included his breakout single “I Don't Have to Be Me ('Til Monday).”

He was chosen by Bob Seger to open his 2007 U.S. tour which was ranked by Pollstar Magazine as the #1 tour in America that year. Azar’s music was featured in the Oprah Winfrey O magazine’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. Taylor Swift picked Azar’s song “Sunshine” as the 2010 song she loved in the December 2010 People magazine.

Azar’s “Soldier Song,” a tribute to America’s soldiers and their families, was the featured song in a Fox News special featuring former President George W. Bush.

Each year Azar is an invited guest at many charity golf events including the Murray Bros. Caddyshack tournament, the Bob Hope Desert Classic and Monday after the Masters.

A family-owned business, Swenson Investments & Commodities has worked to uphold rural values, principles and traditions since 2004. The company believes in personal service and quality advice and delivers customized investment strategies unique to each client.

“We’re excited about Steve’s incredible song and about the response people have had to the message it portrays,” said Brad Swenson. “To be able to honor our friends in ag production and help the FFA — and to meet and work with a talented artist like Steve Azar — is a dream come true for our family and all the folks at Swenson Investments & Commodities.”

Future Farmers of America makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The South Dakota FFA Foundation strives to provide an avenue of funding which will stimulate, promote and support the best interests of FFA students, and create an awareness of agriculture careers, agri-business opportunities and the needs of a growing and diversified industry.

“Steve Azar and Brad Swenson have teamed up to create a powerful message about the ag industry and the hard-working individuals who make it successful in our nation,” said SD FFA Foundation executive director Gerri Eide.

“Their generosity in making the recording of ‘American Farmer’ available to us as a fundraiser will advance our efforts in agricultural education and make a real difference to the future of FFA students in our state.” Swenson sponsored an initial printing of 2,000 CD copies of “American Farmer,” which were on sale at the state FFA convention in Brookings in April for $5 each. The song, ‘American Farmer’, is also available at iTunes, Amazon, and at other online music outlets where a portion of the proceeds from sales will also go directly to the FFA. Contact the SD FFA Foundation at 605-765-4865 or e-mail gerri@sdffafoundation.org for more information.

For concert dates or information about Steve Azar, go to steveazar.com and learn more about Swenson Investments & Commodities at swensoncommodities.com.

A special YouTube video for the song was made featuring South Dakota Family Farmers that submitted their photos to KIKN Kickin’ Country Radio in Sioux Falls, S.D. See the video at: http://youtu.be/l-ZQcxjQHdg.