You’ve heard enough this week about the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, Congress, the President, Mr. Romney, etc., so I’m going to relate to you one seriously legitimate piece of good news.
I’ve told you before I enjoy giving speeches to ag groups across the country because the people I meet are “real,” no pretense, no self-importance, just good people. I’ve also said there are times living in this city when I despair for the fate of Western Civilization.
But I can’t shake the notion that if I can get city folks out to meet country folks keeps, then all the propaganda of the crazies will fall on deaf consumer ears. I’ve preached for years the key to strengthening consumer trust in farmers and ranchers – trust eroded by the junk spread by animal rightists and the pseudoscience “consumer” activists tout – is to put a face on the producer, the process and the product.
For living proof that great minds think alike, I give you Greg Peterson, the eldest of three brothers living and working on the Peterson Brothers cattle/wheat operation near Assaria, Kansas. Greg is a recent graduate of K State, an awesome musician and the producer of the new viral video YouTube sensation “I’m Farming and I Grow It.” Before you read on, go to the link and watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48H7zOQrX3U&feature=player_embedded.
Seems Greg, and his brothers Kendel and Nathan, were frustrated with being taken for granted by their city cousins. They want to remind consumers that real, live people work their fannies off to feed them and big chunk of the world, but they also wanted to show consumers what an actual working farm looks truly looks like.
So, with their 11-year-old sister as cameraperson, the trio spent three weeks filming after their farm work was done and on Sundays, and spent almost no money to produce the video you watched. The Peterson Brothers video says and does more in its few minutes of parody of the 2011 pop hit “I’m Sexy and I Know It” than the millions of dollars spent by the pros over the years, and frankly, it’s more honest.
On Monday, June 25, when the video was first posted, there had been about 3,000 viewings. By midday Friday, June 29, 1.6 million folks had watched the boys. This officially means the Peterson Brothers video is “viral.” The comments posted on the YouTube site speak volumes as well. If we subtract the “these-guys-are-hot” comments – my niece confirms this – and ignore the drivel from the anti’s, the sheer number of “attaboy,” “you rock,” and simple “thank you” comments says not only do consumers want this kind of information, but our community’s collective guilt for not doing anything nearly as well done is eased just a bit.
Why did this one video go viral? Because what the Peterson boys did was that good, that important and that valuable to everyone out there who make a living from any aspect of agriculture, and because those same people promoted the heck out of the video, emailing friends, colleagues and posting the link to their Facebook and Twitter pages.
The boys are now media darlings. They’ve been besieged by interview requests, and traveled to New York City this week to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Fox News. Their appearance on Fox can be viewed here: http://video.foxnews.com/v/1711724454001/im-farming–i-grow-it-video-parody-goes-viral.
What Greg, Kendel and Nathan did is not rocket science; what they did is good common sense, leavened with resolve and a desire to something. They put their fraternal creativity, time and energy where their collective mouth is and they produced the best message about farming and ranching I’ve seen a long, long time.
The Peterson men did what every group ag must do. I’ve heard from groups across the country about similar videos produced by similarly dedicated farm folks, and while they haven’t gotten the attention the Peterson Brothers have, they’re every bit as important. We all must foster and reward this kind of can-do attitude, and we must seize the tools produced and we must help get them placed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace, Digg, etc., and promote them, distribute them and make them the go-to source on farming and ranching.
We’ve all been taught an important a lesson by the Peterson brothers of Assaria, KS.