This week has been an exciting one for those discussing food and farming. Sunday’s airing of RAM Truck’s Super Bowl ad featuring the American Farmer has had online communities buzzing about the images and characteristics that defined our farmers in 1978.
Those characteristics and values still hold true today, despite what we commonly hear in mainstream media and reports from those who have a ‘beef’ with modern farming.
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 2:00 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.”
How has farming changed since 1978′s ‘So God Made a Farmer?’ Read more here.
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.
And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said I need a caretaker- So God made a Farmer
God said I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk the cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board – So God made a Farmer
I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild; somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to await lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon, and mean it – So God made a Farmer
God said I need somebody willing to sit up all night with and newborn colt, and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say maybe next year. I need somebody who can shape an axe handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe straps, who at planting time and harvest season will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, will put in another 72 hours – So God made a Farmer
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain, and yet stop in midfield and race to help when he sees first smoke from a neighbor’s place – So God made a Farmer
God said I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend to pink-combed pullets; who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadowlark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners; somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and rake and disk and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church. Somebody who would bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing; who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says he want to spend his life doing what dad does – So God made a Farmer
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.”
“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.
“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.
Other thoughts on the RAM video from farmers, ranchers, and the agriculture community
How is hay season going for everyone? I hope it’s off to a better start than last year’s. We’re praying for rain across the country and watching the long-term forecasts with a cringe.
Thought it would be a good opportunity to share a few words from my minister’s mind during last year’s hay season when drought put everyone in hard drought in Southwest Arkansas.
There’s nothing better than getting the “hay in the barn” – as the saying goes – and a good peace of mind seems to come over ya when things get accomplished. This passage from Philippians 4:7 sums it up well I think.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
200 Bales Peace of Mind – Explained this to my wife, but the price wasn’t what I was talking about relative to my peace of mind. It was a barn full of hay, and sufficient to say, it will get me through another year (winter). That is short-term peace of mind, and it is my peace of mind for the farm. This is not all we feed, but it is sufficient forage for the calves and horses, since last year’s forage was 40 bales shy of this. However, last year we ran a bit short. You see, my peace of mind began to wane around March/April of this year because we had to buy more hay, and I didn’t want to do that, but such is the nature of this business.
There are abundant lessons to learn about life if you truly live it, and in time, by application so as to be successful and responsible—and of course we are talking about a life viewed from the perspective of God—you will learn your fair share, and wisdom may be yours to own. A wise man endued with knowledge is a valuable asset in life, and I’d like to say I have had great examples to help and aid me in times of need. Their wisdom has helped maintain my peace of mind, and this is most valuable to any one person.
The Bible says: “Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.” (Ecclesiastes 5:9). There are clear benefits from the land of which mankind was blessed by. There are principles of work untold; life-lessons that man must learn so as to develop both physically and spiritually: “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” (Genesis 3:23).
Man must learn wisdom and discretion in work, and this is from the Lord: “Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.” (Isaiah 28:23-26). Some do not recognize these blessings are from God and show no regard: “For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.” (Hosea 2:8).
There is great wisdom in working hard with balance and godly wisdom: “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.” (Proverbs 27:23ff.)
War is a ravage on the peace of mind, thus doing away with the ability to enjoy hard, toilsome work. Howbeit, because of sin God says this: “I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.” (Jeremiah 51:23). Peace is favorable: “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4). “And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks.” (Jeremiah 31:24).
Contentment should be learned in hard work, and herein is great peace of mind. However, envy of another’s goods is contrary to this: “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Deuteronomy 5:21). This destroys man’s peace of mind.
I like this passage, and believe the principle of peace and happiness are greatly deduced: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5).
200 bales loaded, hauled, unloaded and stacked in a barn, at this moment in time, on the hottest day of the year was gratifying to this country-boy, and last night I slept like a baby. That was some good peace of mind. However, the greatest peace of mind is found in knowing the message of the cross and applying it on a daily basis. This peace does not pass away, ever! (cf., Philippians 4:7).
Even if hay season seems a little rough, remember there’s always something to be thankful for. Keep the Faith. Be thankful when the hay is in the barn. Read more thoughts from Bryan here.