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Super Bowl ad featuring Paul Harvey scores a TD

February 11, 2013
  • Jeff Semler
Jeff Semler

So I sit down to my computer Monday morning after the Super Bowl and within a few minutes I am pleasantly surprised by what I missed by not watching the game.

I know it might make many of you think I am un-American, but I have no interest in NFL football.

There are lots of reasons, but the main one was the last strike. I love college football and true football or what Americans call soccer, so maybe I have some hope.

But this is not my point.

What took me by surprise was the buzz about the Dodge commercial.

By all accounts, it was the best commercial of the game and while I am biased and I didn’t see any of the other commercials, I cannot imagine how any other commercial could have been better.

I am old enough to know who Paul Harvey was and I enjoyed listening to him. I enjoyed his presentation of the news and I loved “The Rest of the Story.”
 
Paul Harvey was fortunate to have lived in a time when radio was the cornerstone of media. It was a time before podcasts and satellite radio. He had a loyal following.

He was remembered in a New York Times obituary as follows:

“In his heyday, which lasted from the 1950s through the 1990s, Mr. Harvey’s twice-daily soapbox-on-the-air was one of the most popular programs on radio.
 
Audiences of as many as 22 million people tuned in on 1,300 stations to a voice that had been an American institution for as long as most of them could remember”

His tribute to agriculture in his “So God made a Farmer” first aired in 1978 but now thanks to Dodge a longtime supporter of both 4-H, FFA and Farm Bureau another generation will grow to appreciate Agriculture, I hope.

My understanding that the word farmer was used 1.8 million times on Facebook after the commercial aired. I don’t know if this is true. I do know that Dodge says on its website, “You watch the video, you share a badge, the Ram brand makes a donation. Help us raise $1 million to support FFA and assist in local hunger and educational programs.”

Yes the commercial is nostalgic and sanitized, but the truth is America not only feeds itself but exports a great deal of food, as well.

If you watch the commercial and I hope you do, all I want you to remember is what Aldo Leopold once said, “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”

So Google “So God made a Farmer” and watch the commercial or watch the YouTube video of the original commentary. I know you will enjoy either one and in the words of Paul Harvey, Good Day.

Jeff Semler is an Extension educator, specializing in agriculture and natural resources, for the University of Maryland Extension. He is based in Washington County. He can be reached at 301-791-1404, ext. 25, or by email at jsemler@umd.edu.

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Below is a video version of the commercial from Jeff Semler's column:

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