You’ve heard a lot about “So, God made a farmer” – the ad during the Super Bowl, but you may be interested in “The rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would have said. Surprisingly, the story begins in 1940.
Last week, I called Joe Dales, Vice President of Communications for Farms.com, because I’d heard there was a “connection” between the company and the popular Super Bowl ad. As it turns out, Farms.com produced the original video, which was uploaded on June 1, 2012. As of last week, it had received almost 1,700,000 views.
Dales found the Paul Harvey speech. “We put together the video with images of friends and family members and it aired on the Farms.com YouTube channel,” he says.
“Some time after that, a representative of Ram Trucks called and asked about it. I was surprised they did a two minute ad and you have to give them a lot of credit,” continues Dales. “They took a huge risk and everyone in agriculture should thank them.”
Here’s the timeline on the ad content:
1940 – Boston B. Blackwood writes his definition of a dirt farmer in The Farmer-Stockman
1949 – Tex Smith writes letter to the editor of the Ellensburg Daily Record, using Blackwood’s article verbatim
1975 – Paul Harvey runs similar article in his column, “A Point of View” for the Gadsden Times, called, “What it is to be a farmer”
1978 – Paul Harvey delivers his “So God made a farmer” speech at the National Future Farmers of America convention (now National FFA)
1986 – The speech runs in Paul Harvey’s syndicated newspaper column
2009 – Paul Harvey dies
2011 – Farms.com Vice-President of Communications, Joe Dales, finds Harvey’s speech, and Farms.com intern Mackenna Roth makes a video
2013 – In January, a representative from Ram Trucks contacts Farms.com about the original video and obtains the rights; the Richards Group, Dallas, Texas, produces the ad, made in collaboration with the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation; Dodge Ram agrees to donate up to $1,000,000 to the FFA Foundation based on the views received by the video; the ad has over 10 million views in five days
“We were pleasantly surprised to learn of this farmer tribute commercial,” says Farms.com President and CEO Graham Dyer in a Farms.com news release. “The agriculture industry is not frequently recognized by the mainstream media – we are very supportive of Ram’s initiative, and we are pleased to support it in any way we can.”
“It is a positive message for the non-farming audience as well as a tribute to our farmers,” adds Dales. “This video is dedicated to farmers, both past and present, who have endured to provide safe, affordable and abundant food.”