This week nearly 250 regional, state and national farm, ranch and agribusiness organizations sent a heartfelt "thank you" to Chrysler Group Chair and CEO Sergio Marchionne for its outstanding XLVII Super Bowl commercial "So God Made a Farmer."
The ad kicks off a campaign declaring 2013 "The Year of the Farmer," and features still images from ten noted photographers. The commercial's crowning glory, however, is legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey's recitation of his essay on the virtues of the American farmer, which he originally delivered at a Future Farmers of America conference in 1978. Harvey passed away in 2009.
The letter praised Chrysler for providing a vital message to the millions who watched the game, reminding them that farmers and ranchers - those who feed and clothe this country and much of the world - must not be taken for granted, but instead recognized and appreciated for what they do and how well they do it.
"For two captivating minutes Sunday night, the values and future of American farming dominated a very large stage," said Clint Krebs (Ore.), president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), "The commercial really inspired the ASI leadership as it did sheep producers across the country. Because of the response, ASI joined the other agriculture groups by signing on to this letter to Chrysler."
The letter continued, "America's farmers and ranchers are the most professional and productive in the world. Being the best at what we do benefits us all. No other nation rivals our ability to produce the highest quality, safest, most abundant and affordable meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, crops, fruits and vegetables in the world.
"We sincerely thank you for recognizing us; we thank you even more for reminding the rest of the country - and a big part of the world - of how vital our daily contribution is to their quality of life."
The video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=sillEgUHGC4. To read the letter and for a complete list of the letter's signatories, visit www.animalagalliance.org/current/home.cfm?Category=Letters&Section=Main.