Let me share with you how that ad made me feel. But first, watch it yourself...
The first few seconds of quiet, with a photo of a white faced calf standing on a frozen field was absolutely perfect...I see this scene everyday in the winter. I felt the cold and even smelled the cold--for it does have a smell in rural areas. I thought, "What is this? What is happening in THIS Super Bowl ad?"
Then Harvey's voice: "And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, 'I need a caretaker.' So God made a farmer. God said, 'I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.' So God made a farmer."
This first sentence froze me--I thought, "he's talking about us!" We don't milk cows, but we do work from dawn until dark nearly every day of the year, taking care of cattle and the land. And my husband has devoted 11½ years to the local school board. He will complete his 12th year this spring and he's been proud to be a part of educating our kids and keeping the community together.
Harvey continued: " 'I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it.' So God made a farmer.
"God said, 'I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours.' So God made a farmer."
Well, I've never shod a horse with a hunk of car tire, or made a harness from scraps, but I will tell you that farmers can make absolutely anything out of junk. They have the pile of iron and scraps to prove it...if it is useful on the farm, a farmer can make it! They are the original recyclers.
On the other hand, I have sat up with a newborn baby calf all night, trying to warm it up and feed it colostrum, working until I'm exhausted and wet and cold clear through, only to have all my work go for nothing as it dies while I watch helplessly. I know the heartbreak of losing a calf--not just the work that meant nothing, or the money that I have lost with the death of a calf, but the pain of seeing a life snuffed out and I did my best, but it wasn't good enough.
"God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.
God said, 'I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadowlark. 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 five-mile drive to church.' "
Harvey's reference to baling hay hit home for me. We spend a lot of our time in the summer working to store the nutritious summer grass as hay to feed our cows in the winter. It isn't an easy job and the better you are at haying, the better your cows will eat in the winter.We work long hours cutting, raking and baling hay and if there is a storm on the horizon, we will race to get everything done before the rain can ruin the dry hay and drop the nutritional quality. One thing that will interrupt that race is the call from a neighbor for help. Farmers and ranchers live in close-knit communities and often pitch in when anyone in the area needs assistance.
The commercial closes with: " '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."
The picture of the little boy holding his cowboy hat over his chest is awesome. There are very few jobs that are passed down through the generations anymore. When someone today says they are a "fifth-generation farmer"--that means something! For more than a hundred years, our farm has been owned by the Blythe family. Raising cattle, farming the land and protecting the future has been ingrained in our family. So when a child says he wants to live this life, it causes my throat to constrict, my eyes to burn and I blink to keep the tears at bay. To pass on this lifestyle--this legacy--is every farmer's dream. Family is top importance to farmers and children are cherished.
So the Dodge Truck people hit a homerun in my mind--or scored a huge touchdown, to further the football references. I hope it resonates beyond the agriculture community. I hope it gave my non-farm friends a tiny taste of why I love farming and ranching. Going even further, during the next year every time the video is viewed, or a viewer shares a badge from the website supporting farmers, Dodge is donating money to the FFA Foundation and supporting local hunger and education programs. So, go see it again. Share it with friends and support the people who feed the world--and are proud to do it! Let's celebrate the "Year of the Farmer" throughout 2013.
Then make my Game Day Fajitas that I shared at the Super Bowl Party!
Deb's Game Day Beef Fajitas
2 Sirloin Steaks (one of the 29 cuts of beef as lean or leaner than skinless chicken breast)
2 large green peppers
1 large sweet yellow onion
2 Tbsp D.L. Jardine's Fajita seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
tortillas (I used the smaller 4" diameter flour tortillas)
shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream...any other toppings you prefer!
First, I sliced up and sauteed the onions and peppers in the olive oil. I just love this step...the green color is my favorite and I could literally eat the peppers right out of the skillet!
I seasoned the batch with a bit of the fajita seasoning just for fun--and then watched the peppers wilt and brown a touch.
I also cut away the extra fat and gave the bones to Roo the Cowdog and she is now my best friend today.
Once everything was sauteed and seasoned, I put it in a crockpot together and turned it on low to keep warm. When we went to the party, I put the tortillas, cheese and salsa out so everyone could make their own. At the end of the game there was barely one serving left for me to enjoy today at lunch! I love fajitas and this recipe helped keep me out of the higher calorie, less nutritious snacks! I may have had a low-calorie margarita, though! YUM!