From soap bubbles of the past to the milk moustaches of today, farming is putting stars in our eyes!
Whether it’s famous celebrities like Dwayne Johnson or Carrie Underwood or newly minted rising stars like the Petersen Brothers, agriculture is turning on the star power! Actors used to sell soap and cars and endorse life insurance. Today they’re milking farming for all it’s worth. Well known and wannabe stars both see the benefit of appealing to the rural roots of the spending public. Milk jugs and melting butter are sharing the spotlight with bachelors and beauties down on the farm!
We Have Stars in Our Ears!
There’s big money in celebrity-endorsed advertising and the agents who spend their days poring over Nielsen ratings and viewer demographics are happy to have their stars in the agricultural spotlight. From the consumer side, we feel we “know” these folks and because of that familiarity and their obvious success, we tend to listen to what they’re saying. Rightly or wrongly we are prepared to trust these folks who are high above us in the stratospheres of fame. They capture our attention.
Agriculture’s Rising Star
There is no question that the “So God Made a Farmer” commercial that aired at Super Bowl XLVII on February 2013 resonated with millions of viewers. It began: “And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” Entirely comprised of pictures it nevertheless told a story that engaged the audience and generated an avalanche of comments.
Not all celebrity attention brings a pat on the back. On April 18th 2013, singing star Carrie Underwood posted her viewpoint on the so-called ag-gag bill on Twitter and Facebook. It rapidly went viral with huge numbers of views and comments. Probably unwisely Tennessee State Rep Andy Holt responded that Underwood “should stick to singing”. Carrie’s prompt comeback verified how wrong it is to try to shut-down social media or to bully the opposition. She replied. “I should stick to singing? Wow…sorry, I’m just a tax paying citizen concerned for the safety of my family.”
Look Who’s Talking
There are two sides to every story. Celebrity draws the attention. Agriculture needs to respond with the same desire for what is best for the consumer, while making reasoned explanations of the valid issues facing farmers. When the bright light is shining on the stars it can also pick out all the details of any skeleton’s agriculture might prefer to have in the shadows.
Farmers Are Stars Too!
You don’t have to have millions of dollars and an advertising slot at the Super Bowl to become an agricultural celebrity. The video filmed by the 11 year old sister of the Peterson Farm Brothers proved that. Their parody “I’m Farming and I Grow It’ is a parody of LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” It was uploaded to YouTube on June 25th. Three days later the video had broken the 1 million views mark and continues to generate a phenomenal response. At this writing it stands at 8,644,701 views and continues to light up farm Agvocacy with lively discussions around the issues of growing the food we need to survive. Another of their parodies is my personal favorite. Entitled “Fresh Breath of Farm Air” it is a Fresh Prince Parody and is making stars of these three farm boys simply by showing every day farming exactly like it is.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
While we might hope that all the publicity farming gets is positive, at the end of the day what is most important is that agriculture is being talked about. Open communication is the first step toward positive progress. Personally – good or bad — bright or dull — I love it “when the stars come out!”