OUR VIEW: Spotlight on farmers after Super BowlWhen the Dodge automobile company unveiled its “God made a farmer” commercial during the Super Bowl, farmers were front-and-center on a huge national stage.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Back in December, we used this space to lament how agriculture seems to be losing the attention of Congress and Americans in general. We were disappointed that Congress failed to produce a new farm bill. We were upset about a federal proposal to charge South Dakotans for Missouri River water that flows through our state.
The headline on that Dec. 12 editorial was “Stand up, rural America.”
So imagine our pleasure Sunday evening when the Dodge automobile company unveiled its “God made a farmer” commercial during the Super Bowl. Right there, before the eyes of more than 100 million Americans, farmers were front-and-center on a huge national stage.
Below, we have included the text from that commercial, which was based upon a speech written by the late Paul Harvey, a noted syndicated radio columnist before his death in 2009.
This week, that commercial is still generating conversation, whether it’s on social media sites or around water coolers at work. And this week, the American farmer (and rancher) has regained a bit of a foothold in a society that we worry is losing interest in agriculture.
Here is the text of the commercial:
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 fields, milk cows again, eat supper and 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 rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and 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 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 a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain’n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two 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 clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the 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 tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church.
“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 he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.’ ”
So God made a farmer.