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Social Media Farmer Style



Whenever I learn about things that have ‘gone viral’ I wonder how people learn about about the ‘sensations’ then figure that I am simply not one of the cool kids. I can live with that.

Imagine, though, being a band of farming brothers from Kansas (along with an 11 year old sister) in the age of technology, social media and all things cool coming from coding and VC money (at least that’s what the Valley thinks so we’ll play along). Decidedly uncool by comparison but even the Silicon Valley would crumble if there weren’t people growing food to make sure there is always food within 100 ft. of a Googler at all times.

Enter the Peterson brothers; Greg, 21, Nathan, 18 and Kendal, 15 along with 11 year old Laura behind the camera and you get a video called “I’m Farming and I Grow It” which cleverly uses LMFAO’s hit “I’m Sexy and I Know It” to educate us regular food eaters about the life of a farmer.

With over 3.2 million views the video is a hit. It has resulted in trips to New York to be on TV. So how did they do it? Business Insider tells us.

[Greg] Peterson, who’s majoring in agriculture communication and journalism and minoring in music performance at Kansas State, said the video was produced with iMovie and GarageBand software. His 11-year-old sister, Laura, shot some of it on the family farm near Assaria.

Decidedly not quite the highest of high tech but the results are rather impressive. This activity is even getting the attention of the farming infrastructure in Kansas and beyond.

Steve Baccus, the president of the Kansas Farm Bureau, said what the Peterson brothers did on their own is exactly what agriculture groups have been trying to get other farmers to do — use social media to show consumers the real faces of agriculture.

Individual farmers and industry groups have started using Twitter, YouTube and other social media in recent years to counter the messages put out by tech-savvy environmental and animal rights groups concerned about everything from water quality to the size of cages chickens are kept in.

“We think it is a great way to communicate with the consumer and give them an idea of what exactly goes on in agriculture on the farm,” Baccus said. “We are being painted by some different groups in a pretty nasty vein, and that is not at all true. I think we need to get the message out there is another side of agriculture.”

This is social media at its absolute best. You get a young creative like Peterson who has a passion. His passion happens to be about something that most people take for granted but it absolutely vital to the everyone regardless of whether you are the hippest, hipster programming geek in the Valley or the regular Joe living in Anytown, USA who tries to be clever on Twitter and Facebook. Take a little time, some willing siblings and you wind up with exposure for this great piece of the American experience that you cannot buy with any highly polished video. Imagine of the Kansas Farm Bureau had set out to do this on its own. Do you suspect it might have been a bit different?

So kudos to the Peterson clan. Hopefully this clever bunch might inspire someone who does something that others may see as ‘uncool’ to get their message out as well. Today’s online space provides more opportunity to get exposure than at any other time in human history. Are you taking full advantage of that unprecedented chance?