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God Made a Farmer

A while back, Mark Bittman at NYT wrote a blog post claiming to celebrate farming, but it was actually a back-handed complement because he wasn't talking about most of the real, flesh-and-blood farmers working today; rather he said  we needed more "real farmers" that will grow the stuff Bittman wants in the way that he wants it grown. (At the time, I thought of writing a post asking for "real food journalists" but thought better of it).     

It is against this backdrop that the much-discussed Dodge Ram commercial - God Made a Farmer - appeared (see below if you haven't yet watched it).  I follow quite a few agricultural blogs and twitter feeds, and they all responded enthusiastically to the commercial.  I suspect part of the reaction is the that many in this community feel beleaguered by comments like Bittman's, not to mention the cultural notion that has arisen that you're somehow "evil" if you have some large farm implements. 

One last comment about the commercial.  Look at the parting scene (at about 1:50 into it).  Dodge wants you to look at what is in the foreground.  I want you to look at what is in the background.  It is some kind of confined animal feeding operation.  I can't tell exactly what kind of housing it is, but I'm guessing those barns are housing either hogs or poultry.  Stated differently, it's one of those "factory farms" you hear so much about.  Somehow these kinds of farms don't seem as bad as they're often portrayed when seen in the larger context of the commercial.