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 |
  12. Rosie

    My grandpa and my dad were both farmers and over the years I have heard city folks mock farmers for being dumb hicks, like farming is a lowly profession... I have proudly told them were I come from and watch their faces turn red and then they try to stammer over their iggnorant words. And this ad represented every farmer I have ever met, there are still many farmers out there holding on to this tradition. Truth is, the majority of Americans couldn't last one day in the life of a farmer. Even as a CPA during tax season, I still know I have it easy. I can hardly think of a pouder profession and lifestyle, so thank you farmers!

    February 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  13. sara

    What is wrong with so many people in our country? The majority of us sit back on our laurels after consuming a big steak or salads filled with every veggie imaginable. Then we proceed to rip into every attempt to pay homage to our farmers forgetting (conveniently) how these delicious foods came to our tables. How many of us of us would be willing to put in the work and hours needed to grow these crops? I am ashamed to say that I couldn't. I come from a farming family up until the past two generations. I am very proud to be able to say that. Yes I understand that "Dodge" used the words and pictures to touch our hearts. But whether they drive Dodges, Chevys, or Fords My hat is off to all our farmers. Thank you

    February 6, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  14. Tom

    I suspect this is the same ad agency that made the idiotic Levi's commercial with the Carl Sandberg recording. At least they are aware they aren't talented enough to write their own scripts...

    February 6, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  15. Anne

    And then God created Monsanto, and the farmers sold their souls to Big Agriculture and inserted weed killer chemicals into the DNA of food products. And God created lobbyists, who paid off the government so the consumers couldn't question the system where chicken is washed in bleach, and cows are fed sawdust, hormones and more antibiotics than the average pharmacy carries.

    And God looked down on the obese with exponentially rising rates of cancer and heart disease, and it was good.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • asdf

      True but at least I will give Chrysler some credit. Unlike Ford and GM they didn't do much business with the Nazis back in the day.

      February 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • jls184

      Hilarious and so true, roughly 99% of our food today does not come from your mom and pop farm. Our food comes from factory farms where like you mention is very, very different....and not a good different.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  16. Farm Roots

    Dodge commercial was too schmaltzy. For a better pro-farmer image I far prefer the Farmer Style Gangnam Parody.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:11 am |
  17. Science

    Sorry evolution made US so we could farm.
    Can not teach CREATION at all in public schools in US as FACT.


    New STEM science standards for 2013 make ears for transplant from stem cells

    Can't you read EVOLUTION IN A TEST TUBE Jan. 30 2013

    News Release

    3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

    University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

    Thanks Doc.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • Science

      Back fill new
      Check your god(S) at the cave enterance before entering.. No god(s) required for studying humans on this thread

      updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago
      Jan. 29 2013

      Scientists have unearthed and dated some of the oldest stone hand axes on Earth. The ancient tools, unearthed in Ethiopia in the last two decades, date to 1.75 million years ago.


      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      February 6, 2013 at 8:00 am |
  18. mmi16

    Powerful & thought provoking. Well done Chrysler!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:52 am |
  19. North Dallas Don

    Based on the comments here, Americans are nothing if not cynical. And I've learned over the years that we often judge others by ourselves.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:40 am |
  20. Katie

    What is the point in arguing this?
    I swear some of you are finding the tiniest things to nitpick and argue about.
    The truth is this is a commercial that was made by Ram to support 2 great things- Agriculture & FFA. As a past FFA member, I appreciate this.
    The American Farmer has to face so many challenges in order to PRODUCE YOUR FOOD.
    When it all comes down to it, what is the point of arguing about those small things that really make no difference?
    People are working hard to make sure when you walk into the store you have the food you want in 300 different varieties. Enjoy it. Say thank you. And learn to appreciate the small things in life.

    February 6, 2013 at 1:55 am |
  21. encisoc

    All you athiest, why worried? you wont get to see God when you die anyways, and if you get to see him it will be only for judgment day, then you'll spent the eternity with you wisdom and self sufficient mind. lol

    February 6, 2013 at 1:49 am |
    • sam stone

      weak argument. pascal's wager is nonsense

      February 6, 2013 at 3:14 am |
    • Travelkey

      Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

      February 6, 2013 at 8:42 am |
      • Sidb1980

        God can do anything, but gave you a free will to choose the path to follow. He provided you the way to peace and eternity and you can choose which way to go. He won't force you so stop blaming him. You made the choice.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:51 am |
        • tallulah13

          If god knows what you are going to do, you don't have free will. If god doesn't know what you will chose, he is not omnipotent.

          February 6, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  22. encisoc

    I thought it was the illegal immigrants who did all the hard work. I guess is only the 2% of Americans doing everything?

    February 6, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Owl96

      The migrant farm workers work on produce farms, most often at harvest season picking fruits and vegetables. There are the grain and feed stock farms (wheat, corn, beans) that are mostly full time farmers. By full time we do not mean 9-5, but 5-9. Spend a day on a farm during planting or harvest season. Better yet, spend a day on a dairy farm. I did not grow up on a farm, but my dad did (plowed with a team of horses at age 6 – yes, really). I have spent time at farms of relatives and friends. They work.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:17 am |
      • Countrygirl33

        Try more like 6am to 10:00pm or later during harvest. Average farmer puts in more than 80 hours a week during harvest and it's more than the farmer, it's his wife (or husband), kids and sometimes even the in-laws especially if the weather is going to turn.

        February 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Delmar H. Knudson

      I have never seen a migrant farm worker, though I have read about them, and it seems they have a hard life. As a South Dakota farm boy I arose at 6AM after my Dad had been up about an hour, went out to milk the cows, and feed some of the other animals; then had breakfast and began the work day. We routinely had supper at 9PM after the evenings chores were done, which must have been rather hard for mother. We competed with other farmers in seeing if we couldn't get through the swampy fields to cultivate them 3 to 4 times, when some of our neighbors would only get through the fields twice. My 2 brothers and I worked out way through college (I worked in a hospital 36 hours during the college year), and up to 90 hours a week on 3 different jobs in the summer. We were proud of our hard work, but never made much money, and went to movies only about 4 times a year. We enjoyed living on the farm, riding our work horses, and working them and driving the tractor and all the other farm work. We had little time for recreation, and Dad felt there was too much work to be done, so we didn't participate in any high school sports; and had to work too many hours to put ourselves through college to indulge in such frivolous things. All three brothers graduated with honors, and I went on to get an MD Degree and later on complete a residency and fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. We didn't have any outsiders, like coaches and boy scout leaders and such teaching us morals and the value of hard work. We learned those things at home.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Delmar H. Knudson

        I forgot to mention that we had a far better and easier life and far better nutrition than millions (billions?) of people in third world countries do today.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • Delmar H. Knudson

        The U.S. federal farm subsidy program never favored the small family farm, but rather the huge farms like Senator Eastland owned. For example, if you are farming 140 acres, you can't afford to take half of it out of production to collect a farm subsidy; but if you own 2,000 acres you can afford to do that. I believe the farm subsidies should be rationally, intelligently based, and should be cut (just like a lot of the subsidies for the big oil companies, etc.). Many of the existing parts of the farm subsidy do not make sense.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
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