“…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”
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.”
“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…”
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.
Other thoughts on the RAM video from farmers, ranchers, and the agriculture community