There were lots of things I expected to see during last Sunday’s Super Bowl, including hyped-to-the-max pop culture. But I also heard something meaningful that pertained to farming.
A commercial for Dodge Ram trucks featured the voice of late news commentator Paul Harvey as he recited “So God Created A Farmer,” a speech he gave during the 1978 Future Farmers of America convention.
You can read the full text of the speech by clicking here, but it’s basically an ode to the grounded, tireless work of row-crop farmers, cattle ranchers and others who work farms in our country.
A few words stood out that you’ll see below:
“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 5-mile drive to church.”
The references to “plow deep” and “disc” didn’t completely ruin the commercial for me — I thought it was very moving. But it made me curious. So this morning I looked at a timeline of no-till history No-Till Farmer published in 2011.
Around the time Harvey gave that speech 34 years ago, no-till had grown to 7.1 million acres in the U.S., up from 3.3 million acres in 1972. Of course, today no-till is practiced on nearly 90 million acres. That was the same year the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) was developed. No-till was a fledgling movement, but on its way.
A few farmers on our Facebook page had a brief discussion about this commercial on Monday, which you can view here. Feel free to “like” our page and leave a comment about the ad if you like.
I think the point here is that farmers can be proud of who they are today. And if you’re a no-tiller who is truly acting as a steward of our country’s farmland, you should be even more proud.
It would have been interesting to hear if, and how, Harvey would have changed his references to tillage if he had given that speech today. Would he have made reference to “no-till?”