2013-02-07

Co.Exist

Hilarious Super Bowl Farmers Ad Parody Mocks Factory Farms

The new version, "God Made A Factory Farm," pokes holes in the myths of the hardworking American farmer with a perfectly accurate explanation of how agribusiness controls American food.

The farmer-themed Dodge Ram commercial that aired during the Super Bowl has, improbably, stirred up a great deal of emotion around the country about who is American and what the essence of the American economy is. There has already been one parody ad which noted that while almost every face in the original ad was white, the vast majority of farm workers today are Latino. But sometimes it takes a satirist to really get to the heart of an issue, and that’s what Nick Wiger at Funny or Die has done with "God Made A Factory Farmer":

This new version hilariously gets at what was really wrong with the ad, as inspiring as it was: American agriculture as we imagine it doesn’t really exist. Except for the very small percentage of nice farmers who bring your kale to the farmer’s market, the vast majority of food produced in this country is grown by just a few giant companies, who have set up sweetheart deals with the government to protect their industry, at the expense of both small farmers and the health of Americans.

Here’s the full text of the Funny or Die video, which offers a pretty insightful indictment of the current state of American agriculture:

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said I need a caretaker. So God made a farmer.

And back when America was founded, 90% of the population were farmers. But now it’s less than 1%. So God made a factory farm.

And then God wanted to maximize yield, so he made pesticides and herbicides. And he made genetically modified seeds that are resistant to those chemicals. And God let Monsanto patent those seeds.

And God said: "Sometimes agribusiness grows crops that no one needs, but they still want to get paid." So God made farm subsidies.

And then God noticed, "Hmmm, there sure is a massive corn surplus out there." And so God made high fructose corn syrup. And then God said: "Well, now we’ve got to do something with all this corn syrup." So God made Mountain Dew. And Cookie Crisps. And Gushers.

And then God said: "Ok, now it just seems like Americans aren’t willing to do farm labor anymore." So God made Mexicans.

And God said: "Granted, the American agricultural industry has evolved into a manufacturing giant that’s more like Walmart than a mom-and-pop store. And it’s backed by powerful interest groups that spend hundreds of millions lobbying Congress. But despite all that, the word 'farmer’ still evokes salt of the earth, American Gothic imagery. And, from a marketing standpoint, that would be a helpful thing to associate with an automaker that nearly went bankrupt due to mismanagement.

So God made this commercial.

If anything, Paul Harvey’s speech should be looked at as an ideal to try to return to: hardworking owners of small farms bringing us locally grown food as part of our communities.

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8 Comments

  • Iowa Agronomist

    Whoever made this needs to get out on a farm. My guess is that they've never set foot out of a major metropolitan center and do not realize the vast acres of farmland where their food comes from. I know of very few "factory farms." 99.9% of farms are family owned and operated. Our machinery had to get larger and more complex because of people like the person who made this ad. I would suggest that if you like to eat, which I'm sure you do, you should appreciate the farmers and the agribusiness that supply you with one of the most reliable, most economical food systems in the world.

  • Minnesota Farmer

    Do not confuse the agribusiness that puts food in your grocery store with the farm folks who actually raise your food.  
    The average farm size in the U.S. is under 600 acres and that is not enough to feed a family so many farmers have a job in town.  97% of the food produced in our country is produced by actual farm families that own, live and work on farms.  Many of those farm owners are not only white, but latino and black.
    Yes, many of your fruits and veggies are dependent on migrant labor, but mechanization has made more and more of those stoop labor jobs obsolete.  Farm families purchase these machines so that they can stay on the farm and depend only on family labor.
    You need to get out onto the farm.  You would be surprised at how little the corporations actually have a say in.
    I'm proud to be a family farmer out there making it on my own.  

  • Ryan Goodman

    I will give you one thing, the parody evoked a laugh out of me right about the line " So God made Mountain Dew. And Cookie Crisps. And Gushers." Other than that, I thought it was too easy for those who put it together. Yeah it mocks the original Farmers ad by sticking together every stereotypical line of what is rumored to be a factory farm, but that doesn't make it reality.

    If you were to take a moment to visit with some actual farmers (and yeah they are out there trying to connect with those who have honest questions), you'd realize there are faces behind those farms and our food supply, and no, they are not controlled by corporate entities like many would have us believe. If you are disgusted by our food supply, support what you believe in every time you spend a dollar on food. Look for help from those processing the food that ends up at retail and those consumers demanding those products, not the farmers and individuals growing that food.

  • ForteDesign M Schill

    Additional comment to Morgan Clendaniel whom wrote this ad your title for this article is incorrect. If you find this parody hilarious please rethink the family farmers it insults. 

  • ForteDesign M Schill

    The shouts against the ad in many ways are being disrespectful to the family farmer. It is up to you if you chose to buy a Dodge truck from the ad. If Dodge did not have there logo on the end would everyone be doing these parodies or negative comments on  the ad. Lets remove the last image of the dodge truck and replace it with a photo of a child and the tag make my wish come true, sponsored by the Make a Wish Foundation. I would love to see how many would criticize it then. As stated the choice is yours to buy the truck the imagery and sentiment of Paul Harvey's statements are moving and should not be mocked in disrespect towards the family farmers that still exist and yes they still exist. I live in 70 mile area where I can show you 2 non corporate over 200 year old family farms. 

  • Annieintexas

    There is nothing "hilarious" about this parody, it's biting sarcasm.  While it contains some truth, this parody mocks the sentiment and the notion of the ideal; and as you point out, an ideal that would be worth returning to.  When you know those farmers in the 1% by name, this commercial takes on a personal nature, and reminds those of us in the 1% who still live daily by that ideal, that 99% of American believes food comes from grocery stores, not the land, nor by the hands that still do have their 40 hours in by Tuesday.  God forbid we recognize or pay tribute to the 1%. 

  • Agustín

    Do you really think that a truck ad is paying tribute to farmers? It seems to me like the ad actually exploits the myth of family-run, white-skinned farmers for commercial gain. Did the truck ad actually help show where our food really comes from?

    Wouldn't it be a better tribute to farmers to put limits on factory farms and encourage small agricultural businesses, enact labor laws that don't undermine the farmers for the sake of improving corporate profits, and reduce pesticide use so we have a healthier water and soil system?