Farmers the forgotten Cornerstone of America

Each day that you wake up and wander into the kitchen and make your breakfast you should thank a farmer. Whether you had Cherios, oatmeal, or eggs a farmer is the reason you’re starting your day off with a meal. You may have seen the bumper sticker “Hug a Farmer”, maybe you should simply thank your farmer. As people move to the urban areas and the amount of rural land dwindles people forget about what it takes to be a farmer.

Today’s popular culture advertisements, such as Farmersonly.com and a Dodge Ram Super Bowl commercial have made stereotypes of farmers from old white male that works all day and doesn’t know what a computer is to a goofy out of touch uneducated person. However, they also can show that they are hard working and a vitally important to today’s society.

 

What the media says:

 

The first example of the famers portrayal in popular culture was a Super Bowl commercial for Dodge Ram back in 2013.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMpZ0TGjbWE

 

This video is moving and tries to connect to you on an emotional level. They use Paul Harvey’s reading of “so God Made a Farmer” as a voice over, while showing farmers going through their daily routine. The speech is moving in itself, as it talks about the wide range or skills that it takes to be a farmer. He also speaks on the hard work and dedication that it takes. This commercial also used a diverse group of people in the pictures while of coarse throwing in their trucks randomly in. It used images or rural America and images that the average farmer identifies with; church, working with animals, and being on the tractor all day.

I found it interesting that they ended the commercial with “for the farmer in all of us”. I took this as to mean that we all come from farming, if you go back generations, I am sure someone was a farmer in your family. Farming is the foundation of any civilization. People like to identify with certain traits of farmers, such as; hard working, not afraid to get dirty, working the land, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. This commercial shows farming in a positive light and tries to bring recognition of all that they do for society.

 

The next example is a negative representation of farmers in commercials. Farmersonly.com uses stereotypes of farmers and “city folk” to make a point:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzAwU_1JzYI

 

In this commercial and other Farmersonly.com commercials they use extreme almost satirical representation of city folk and country farmers to make a point. The rude and inconsiderate person that they are portrayed as in these commercials offends some people from the city. While there are some farmers who find it offensive that they only would date other farmers or that the only thing they like to do is fish and hunt.

In this particular commercial the farmer is out fishing and the city girl is being over the top dramatic about how much she hates it out on his “boat that costs less than her shoes”. Then the country girl comes to the rescue and pulls the city girl out of the boat by using a fishing pole. I find this whole commercial to be over the top and actually a little offensive. It shows famers being rude and abusive toward city people. It is an obvious attempt at dividing people between demographics. I find it in poor taste.

 

What it’s really like:

 

I believe that farmer and farm life lies somewhere in between these two commercials. In the Dodge Ram commercial it demonstrates hard workingmen and women of all ethnicities. It talks about how hard it is to be a farmer and the importance of farmers in society and all that farmers do for the earth. In the Farmersonly.com commercials they use farmers trying to find dates that are the extreme of stereotypes, wearing camouflage and always hunting or fishing. I believe that farmers are not always doing the worse job in the world while farming like the dodge commercial tries to show how hard of life it is. Farming can be a lot of fun and relaxing. I do think it is a far way from the Farmersonly commercials that show farmers being plain rude to “city folk”. But farmers do want to have a good time and are not as isolated as some would think. From my experience as a farmer on a family farm I would say that farming is a lifestyle and it is work every day. I would also add that farming is becoming more of a business and farmers are trying to adapt to the changing farming culture.

 

Conclusion:

 

Farming stereotypes in commercial advertisement portray farmers in a wide range of ways. Ranging from hard working people of the land to isolated and lonely people that are ignorant of who lives in the city. I would say that there is no commercial that actually captures what farmers actually are and that might be because like all human beings we are a very diverse culture.

 

Learning Moments:

 

Learning how to use Portland State’s online library was extremely helpful. I know that I will continue to use this in other classes. I had no idea that we had so many resources to use that our tuition pays for. I had used Google Scholar before but was always frustrated by the lack of access to those sources.

I also enjoyed the discussions on how companies display a certain value with one brand and a contrary value with their other brand. The example used was dove and axe are owned by the same company. Dove portrays woman empowerment while axe displays the objectification of woman to attract males to its product.

 

 

Sources:

Dodge Ram Super Bowl Ad Gets Mixed Review, Amanda Radke, Beef Daily, beefmagazine.com, Feb. 2013

 

More Culturally Subversive TV Advertising: FarmersOnly.Com’s Bigotry, Ethics Alarm, July 5, 2016

 

Agricultural Issues Revealed, multiple blog posts, Auburn.edu, March 7, 2013

 

“So God Made A Farmer”, Paul Harvey, Dodge Ram,2013 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/So_God_Made_a_Farmer

 

Farmersonly.com commercial, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBrEZ5LJXlM, sept. 2014.

 

How tv has made us stupid about farming, Forrest Prichard, Huffington post, feb. 2014

 

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