February 4th, 2013
11:00 AM ET
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Eatocracy spends a lot of time talking with farmers, and giving them a platform in our ongoing Farmers with Issues series. When Dodge aired a commercial during last night's Super Bowl using radio legend Paul Harvey's “So God Made a Farmer” as a kickoff for their Year of the Farmer campaign to raise money for the Future Famers of America, the increasingly vocal population of farmers and agriculture advocates spreading their message with social media had a lot to say.

We reached out to a few of our favorite farmers and rounded up some of their reactions.

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"I'm proud to say I'm a sixth generation farmer with my li'l boys being the seventh generation tagging along with me for chores each day. With today's American population being two to three generations removed from their farming "roots" Dodge did an amazing job in this commercial, emphasizing why less then 2% of the population continues to feed not only the United States but the world.

Today's farming family realizes they will never be rich – but they recognize their "riches" every day – working side by side with younger generations, sharing family values, demonstrating strong work ethic and emphasizing the importance of community. While no monetary value could never be put on many areas of the farm family lifestyle, it is those unmeasurable riches that keep us going for generations!" - Carrie Enyart, Black Willow Pond Farm: Cobleskill, NY

"The Super Bowl is the most watched television event of the year. By some estimates, more than half of the country watches the game. Many are just as excited, if not more, to see the commercial break ads that air during the broadcast. This year, Dodge RAM used their ad space to declare 2013 the Year of the Farmer.

The full two minute video, as seen on the Dodge RAM campaign site, features the voice of radio legend Paul Harvey. Until his passing in 2009, many Americans grew up listening to his News and Comment and waiting for The Rest of the Story from the native-Oklahoman who held his commitment to America’s heartland. In 1978, at the Future Farmers of America convention, Harvey recited a tribute to the American farmer that still holds very true today – “So God Made a Farmer.”

Harvey’s narrative describes the characteristics we look for in dedicated farmers and caretakers of the land. The lines have gained more than 1 million views on YouTube, with several farmers and agriculture organizations putting their own images to the words. No matter your religious preference, the message certainly inspires reflection on the history of this country’s hard-working farmers and ranchers. The scenes take viewers through the generations of farmers and ranchers, from the old to the young, including many landscapes of modern agriculture.

This video is not necessarily a campaign for the Dodge RAM products, but rather a campaign to support the FFA Foundation (also known as Future Farmers of America) and their hunger initiative Feeding the World – Starting at Home.

According to FFA Foundation CEO, Dwight Armstrong, RAM will donate up to $1,000,000 to the Foundation based on the views of the video and activity on the website. Individuals are encouraged to view the video and recommend it to others.

'Supporting this positive messaging about the American Farmer will raise awareness of the National FFA Organization within the general public while providing significant support to a major FFA initiative,' Armstrong stated in a letter to members and supporters.

Rural Americans took this ad space with extra gratitude and appreciation as farmers and ranchers have been working hard to share their stories with an America generations removed from the farm. North Dakota farm mom, Katie Pinke, expressed the sentiment well in her blog post about the video. “After watching the commercial, I feel like there is more hope in the world. Hope for agriculture, for family farmers, to feed a growing population, to connect everyday Americans to where their food comes from and to build a greater connected community for agriculture in America.”

Thanks goes to Dodge RAM for the recognition of America’s Farmers and Ranchers and for helping the efforts of such a great organization like FFA." - Ryan Goodman, generational farmer, Eatocracy contributor and creator of Agriculture Proud

Super Bowl ad revives iconic American voice

Farmers, writers and agvocates who blog:

"I hope I do my job as a caretaker of the animals and the land well enough so that when it’s time for me to leave this earth someone will read this at my funeral." - DairyCarrie.com

"After watching the commercial, I feel like there is more hope in the world. Hope for agriculture, for family farmers, to feed a growing population, to connect everyday Americans to where their food comes from and to build a greater connected community for agriculture in America." - ThePinkePost

"We begin to arrive at a question, which is how do small farmers, of the sort valorized in the commercial, afford shiny new pickup trucks? Anecdotally, they answer is that the cannot afford to, or they prefer to spend their disposable incomes on things like mortgage payments and fixing holes in roofs." - thegurglingcod.typepad.com

"Many liberal voices are rising to decry the spot as commercial pandering and emotional manipulation. Just keep in mind that many of those same voices have never shied away from using images of abused puppies and kittens to solicit money to build their war chest and line their own pockets without committing any real resources to the plight of those creatures they exploit." - raybowman.wordpress.com

"You may know that I farm with my dad and grandpa right now. Actually during my last semester of college I said I didn’t want to farm, but six years later I told my parents I did. My wife and I have a 3-year-old son ourselves. Maybe someday he’ll want to do what Dad does too." - thefarmerslife.wordpress.com

"Look, if we continue to assume farmers are not frightfully smart, good hearted chaps working with the technology of the late 1930s, how are we ever going to get a sensible grip on agriculture?" - rachellaudan.com

"Various folks within agriculture have complained that Dodge should have tasked a 'real farmer' with narrating the spot, or that they should have avoided Paul Harvey because of some of his stances related to animal agriculture...What matters is that last night, during a record-setting television broadcast, tens of millions of Americans heard an iconic voice remind them of what it means to be a farmer, helping reconnect them to their own fond memories of our nation’s food producers." - AndyVance.com

Farmers on Twitter:

What did you think of the ad? Share your thoughts in the comments below and we'll see what takes root.

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Filed under: Advertising • Blogs • Business and Farming News • Buzz • Farmers with Issues • Farms • Social Media • Super Bowl • Twitter

soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. drDave

    With all due respect to farmers, who are good people; the ad singles out a single group for the favor of God. We all know what's happened across the centuries when one group or another has claimed such a special relationship, and it doesn't sit any better now, as a commercial for Dodge. The implication of the commercial is that everyone else must have been created as an afterthought, without deserving any of God's special attention.

    July 29, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  2. Used Dodge Trucks

    Yes, Chad has actually provided the fundamental info.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:26 am |
  3. FarmerBoy

    Well I may never have a Ram sit on my farm, but I really do appreciate Dodge's contribution to the American farmer and the FFA. Thank you.

    April 2, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
  4. Frank Mondana

    While the piece was stirring, everyone needs to keep in mind that its entire reason for existence was to sell trucks. So all those who say it changed their lives need to put it in this context

    February 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  5. I'm_Hungry_for_chick_fil_A!

    real men drive F-150's

    February 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  6. Dawkins is an idiot

    A lighting bolt struck a mud puddle and POOF!!! The earth appeared. sounds like magic to me! They also believe the myth that a frog can turn into a prince!!!! FAIRYTALES!!!! Their cult leader (Dawkins) believes the seeds of life were put here by space aliens

    February 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  7. Dawkins is an idiot

    Living matter can come from non-living matter. That's what these idiot atheists believe!

    February 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  8. Turtle

    My brother in law runs the 500 acre family cattle farm. He is the hardest working person I know. Farming is not an occupation – it is a lifestyle. He is also incredibly smart and additionally – he and his crew (sons) use sophisticated computer models to ensure optimized production of crops. He will never be rich, but I am sure he is happier than most people in their jobs.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Sam

      And on the 9th day, God noticed that the Americans were too lazy to go out and work in the fields, so he created Slaves and Undocumented Workers.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:22 am |
  9. Scholar

    Evolution created the farmer when the hunter-gatherer stage of civilization changed to create permanent abodes in fertile lands and people discovered how to grow food crops. God did create us with the intelligence to do this, to explore and to expand our lives.

    Now, we must protect what we have created against those who are the takers in our society, the Big Oil who destroy fertile lands with fracking and so on.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  10. asdf

    Too bad the family farmer is disappearing. I don't think even Paul Harvey believes God made a Con Agra or Tyson Foods corporate executive.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • asdf

      God only makes people born with souls.

      February 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  11. edwin

    Love how this degreaded into the usual religious argument.

    February 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
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