It’s been awhile since Billy Dean released some new music — and even longer since he tasted the kind of chart success he enjoyed with his first few albums in the early ’90s — but he’s making plans to change all that.

Dean has partnered with the Naturipe Farms collective for a series of new recordings, starting with a digital EP that’s currently available on iTunes). He also has plans for a full album in the fall. It might sound like an unusual partnership, but country music and farming is a pretty natural fit — and Dean stands squarely behind the company’s mission to help promote the sale of locally grown produce.

Dean spoke about the new project during a recent interview with Taste of Country, saying, “The title of the album is ‘The Seed,’ and it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. It’s a song from the point of view of a seed saying, ‘Don’t tell me you’re too small to do amazing things because I was just a seed.’ It’s just a great album with good music.”

He went on to discuss his association with Naturipe, explaining, “Basically, Naturipe has been very supportive of my music and career, and so, in turn, I’ve been really trying to get the word out and support Naturipe with the message of their locally grown produce, and reminding people to support the local farmers and look for the Naturipe brand. They’ve been very supportive of that and bringing awareness to people who are struggling to save their family farms. I want everyone to know just how important family farms are.”

[Taste of Country]