Paul Harvey, Farming, and the Super Bowl: A Magical Concoction

As Super Bowl XLIV quickly approaches, let’s flash back to 2013, when Dodge Ram’s Super Bowl XLVII commercial “So God Made a Farmer” stole the hearts of Americans.

If you’re anything like me, you may enjoy watching the highly entertaining Super Bowl commercials more than the game itself. Undoubtedly, Dodge devised a brilliant marketing tactic when they used a portion of a heartwarming speech by radio broadcaster Paul Harvey to narrate a series of pictures depicting the industrious lives of farmers. Harvey originally delivered this moving oratory at the 1978 National FFA Convention.

Other than the infamous power outage that disrupted the showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, “So God Made a Farmer” was arguably the most popular coffee break conversation starter on Monday.

I still remember the moment the commercial debuted. A reverential hush fell over the bustling room full of people, all eyes fixated on the TV screen. You could practically hear your own heartbeat.

Why did this nostalgic, no-frills tribute to farmers mesmerize living rooms around the country for two minutes? I think that, aside from simply being a genius ad, it’s because people recognized the harmony between a farmer, a caretaker of the land, and God, the Creator of the land.

The closing verse alone would send shivers down the spine of the coldest curmudgeon: “Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.’ So God made a farmer.”

Is the farmer’s resume given in this narrative a stretch of the truth? Too sentimental? A thing of the past? While the actual job description may have changed over the years, I think the principles remain the same. Farmers are of a faithful, persevering, hardworking, salt-of-the-earth bloodline. My dad no longer loses his hearing on open cab tractors, but he still stops his 24 row planter to gently move a nest of Killdeer eggs out of the way. The character traits live on.

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