The spot, simply called "Farmer," featured a speech by radio commentator Paul Harvey, where the plainspoken orator pays tribute to the hardworking men, women and families who make up America's farming community, while simple photos show life and work on the farms.
Within moments of its airing Sunday night, the hashtag #GodMadeAFarmer exploded on Twitter and sent many looking for the original speech, which Harvey — who died in 2009 — gave in 1978 at a Future Farmers of America convention.
Many viewers swelled with pride; others found the commercialism of the message to be crass. Farmers are neither saints nor sinners, but real people with real lives who help make the country work. We all know someone from that commercial.
In fairness, Ram says it will donate $1 million to FFA; that number grows with the more social media badges shared from its site at ramtrucks.com/en/keepplowing.
Harvey's message still stands, even 35 years from the original speech. Even without the truck at the end or the website URL, his words, reprinted here, resonate:
And on the eighth 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, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So, God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt, and watch it die, and 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 hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon. And then, pain'n from tractor back, put in another 72 hours." So, God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, and yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark." So, God made a farmer.
"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. 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.