During the Super Bowl, farmers, their families and FFA members took to Facebook and Twitter to show their agricultural pride after Dodge's Ram Truck ad. The commercial features radio commentator Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech, which he presented at the 1978 National FFA Convention. The commercial is punctuated with photos of life around the farm.
Of course, the farm community fell in love with the commercial. On our Facebook page, fans shared comments about how they believed it was the best commercial of the game and hoped that others would get some insight to what it means to farm. According to the USA Today ad meter – it was the third most popular ad of the evening.
However, take a look outside the ag social media circle and the reviews are not as kind. Some posted on blog sites and YouTube that they did not like the reference to “God” in the commercial. Another thought that “only the 18 farmers in the country” would like this commercial. Others said there are no more “farmers anymore, just agribusinesses” and complained about all the government subsidies farmers receive.
So, while this commercial pulls on the heartstrings of those who have ever fought to save an animal, put in long hours at the barn or in the field, or hold onto the hope their children will someday take over the farm, one Super Bowl commercial is not going to teach the public how farmers farm or remind viewers where their food comes from.
The Harvey speech is as follows:
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 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.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year,' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours."
So God made the 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 the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the 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 brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody who'd 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 that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does.
So God made a farmer."
-- Charlene Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor
Editor’s Note: Dodge Ram announced that for every view, download or share of the two-minute "So God Made a Farmer" spot on the brand's website, it will make a donation to the National FFA Organization up to $1 million. The commercial can be found here: www.ramtrucks.com/keepplowing.