So who made the farmer?

   I had a topic planned for this week’s newsletter, but then this ad

Official Ram Trucks Super Bowl Commercial
Official Ram Trucks Super Bowl Commercial “Farmer”

played in the middle of the Superbowl…

It’s just not very common to see realistic imagines of farmers on TV or movie screens the way doctors, first responders and of course, the military are so often depicted.  Although it was a car ad, it literally riveted people to the screen.  It was beautifully made and powerful.

Paul Harvey left out a few important details that I would have liked to seen included:  less than 2% of Americans are farmers; the price of food continues to shrink as a percentage of American’s incomes.  And while the ad primarily showed photos of white men, who make up 96% of farm operators, the vast majority of workers in agriculture are Hispanic, a large number of them women.  There are plenty of beautiful photos depicting their work in the fields that would only have added to the ad’s power, as in this reworked version.

It’s not cynical for a corporation that makes pickup trucks to run an ad about farmers:  after all, most farmers drive a pickup, and will buy several over their lifetimes.  Farmers are not just consumers, they are mega-consumers.  Here at Terra Firma, we have a fleet of 12 pickups and flatbeds.  Like many farmers, we tend to buy ours used, not shiny and new like the one in the Dodge ad.  But every time we buy a used truck from someone else, we are helping finance their purchase of a new one.

I say the more connection between rural farmers and urban eaters the better: CSA subscriptions, farmers market shopping, Corn Mazes, pumpkin patches, Farm-to-Table dinners, Buy Local campaigns…and sure, even pickup truck ads during the Superbowl.




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