Three Kansas farm boys brought their very own “Farmer Style” to 540 Ohio young farmers and agricultural professionals in Columbus, Ohio Friday, January 30 and Saturday, January 31 for the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals (YAP) Winter Leadership Experience Conference.
YouTube sensations The Peterson Farm Bros entertained the group Friday evening singing their parody hits, story telling of how it all started in a Sonic parking lot in Kansas and led to being interviewed on the Today Show in New York City to their videos being viewed across the globe. The essence of their mission is to be advocates for agriculture or “Agvocates” to share the story of their family farm and represent America’s agriculture as the next generation of farmers.
It all began when Greg had an idea to make a parody music video with his brothers to help educate their city friends about farming. It was entitled “I’m Farming and I Grow It,” a parody of the song “I’m Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO. The song was a viral hit on YouTube and received more than 5 million views in more than 200 countries in two weeks. Since then, they have continued to make videos with eight total parodies and many other videos about their lives on the farm.
The brothers embraced the platform they were given to tell the world about family farming. “We went from harvesting wheat in Kansas and filming this video in our spare time, to a couple weeks later having gone to New York City and back and been on National TV with 5 million views,” Greg Peterson said, “Then our parody of ‘Gangnam Style’, ‘Farmer Style’, ending up being our most watched video of all time.”
Their YouTube stats and comments show they are advocating for farmers across the world and into urban audiences. Between performing their songs, they shared with the audience what has made them successful along with encouraging tips for each person to share their agricultural story on social media or personal conversation. “Agriculture is so broad with many different things. We all need to be telling our part because a Kansas farm is not like an Ohio farm and an Ohio farm is not like an Australian farm. The agricultural industry as a whole is so big to feed and clothe the whole world,” Kendal Peterson said.
The Peterson Farm Brothers demonstrate every opportunity to be an Agvocate is important. “Education is part of advocating for agriculture, but the main part is telling your story. You can impact someone’s view of the agricultural community. If farmers aren’t out telling their story then other people are going to tell their story for them. You can see the misinformation on the Internet and others are trying to tell our story in a negative light. With our videos we tell truthful information and the true story of farmers to put a positive voice out there,” Greg Peterson said.
After the performance they took time to sign autographs, take pictures and answer questions.
A. “It’s always good for us, when we get to go and speak we meet farmers from all over the country. It broadens our perspectives as farmers and the more people you meet in agriculture you understand how everyone has the same passions and interests. We get to talk about something we think is really important and advocating for what we do,” Greg Peterson said.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who is seeking to be an Agvocate through social media, but is struggling with taking the first steps?
“It’s important to take that initiative, take that first step because you never know how many people will see what you put out there,” Nathan Peterson said.
“We tell our story and the general story of farmers in our videos, but no one can tell your story like you can. It’s every farmer and person in the Ag community to tell their story and if we all work together and support each other we can make a huge difference. You never know the impact you can make without taking that first step to advocate for agriculture,” Greg Peterson said.
What are some of your personal and career goals as the Peterson Farm Brothers for 2015 or onto the future?
A. “As brothers, we would like to keep doing what we can with the opportunity we have to advocate for agriculture. Whether it be finding new ways or if we keep making good videos that people enjoy, we’ll keep doing that too. Long-term, we hope to eventually get back to the family farm and do what we love there. Just to be able to represent the farming lifestyle to whoever watches our videos or sees us,” Nathan Peterson said.
As true Agvocates they never forget before their videos is faith, family and farming. To learn more about The Peterson Farm Bros, their family farm and information on booking them to come to your event, visit http://www.petersonfarmbros.com.
For more information on Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals Winter Leadership Experience Conference visit http://ofbf.org/news-and-events/news/4486/