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SF Blog: Land O’Lakes’ “The Farmer” Video Showcases Vital Role of Farmers

‘And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God made a farmer.” When I heard that scratchy audio during the 2013 Super Bowl, I turned my full attention to the TV screen as beautiful, striking farming photographs flashed across it. I remember feeling goose bumps as Paul Harvey delivered his powerful “So God Made a Farmer” speech, originally given at the 1978 National FFA Convention.

To see such a well-produced, heartfelt tribute to farmers shared on a night when millions of Americans are intently watching was incredible. 

I had the same feelings of pride and respect when I watched Land O’Lakes’ new video called “The Farmer.” 

The video is similar to Ram’s Super Bowl version in many ways. It features the words of a past poet. In this case, a British poet named Amelia Barr. Barr lived in Texas during the late 1800s, where she gained a reverence for the farmers in America. (Technically Harvey was a broadcaster – not a poet. But in my opinion, the “So God Made a Farmer” speech was beautiful poetry.) The Land O’Lakes video also includes picturesque, yet realistic, scenes of American agriculture, although “The Farmer” includes video shots instead of photographs.

Despite the similarities, Land O’Lakes did not intend to replicate the Ram commercial in any way. In fact, the Ram spot never came up when the video was being created, says Tim Scott, Land O’Lakes. “I enjoyed that commercial, as did most, but this video was never intended to be used outside our own walls.” 

Land O’Lakes first learned about Barr’s poem from its marketing agency, who discovered the poem when they were creating another video. Finding the poem “both compelling and quite beautiful at its core,” Scott and his team decided to create a video with the poem that could be used at internal meetings.

“It was never intended to be shared with the broader public,” says Scott. “But when we saw how it resonated with our employees and members, the decision was made to share the video more broadly.”

For that reason, Land O’Lakes bought air time during another key football event – college bowl games. A 60-second version of the video will run during the Music City Bowl, Orange Bowl, Outback Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and Sugar Bowl.

Land O’Lakes hopes the video will “showcase our owners’ rural values, their hard work, and the vital role they play in all of our lives,” says Policinski.

“It’s the kind of storytelling that shows not only what we do, but how we feel, as together, we feed human progress,” adds Chris Policinski, CEO of Land O’Lakes.

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