Greg Peterson advocates for agriculture at EWC
Torrington – Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers parody trio and agricultural advocacy group, spoke at Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) in Torrington April 23.
The Peterson Farm Brothers’ fame started with a parody video called, “I’m Farming and I Grow It,” a parody of the famous song by LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It.”
The brothers had no idea that their video was going to be so popular and go viral within days of them posting it to YouTube.
“We originally thought it was just going to be a funny home video,” described Peterson.
“We didn’t know the rest of the world would think it was so funny and go viral like it did,” continues Peterson. “It really goes to show the power of social media and the power of YouTube.”
They originally had made the video to show their friends that farming is cool, to help educate them about what farming is really all about and to help offset some of the misnomers on the internet portraying farming as bad.
The brothers had expected a maximum of 50,000 views for their video, not the explosion of attention to it that they received. Today, the video has about 9 million views.
“One day I went browsing on YouTube, looking at the most viewed videos, and the most viewed videos on YouTube are all music videos,” described Peterson. “I started thinking to myself, why are there no music videos about farming? What a great way to communicate what we are doing.”
After six months of the release “I’m Farming and I Grow It,” the Peterson brothers started getting asked when they were going to do another song.
They chose the worldwide popular song “Gangnam Style” by South Korean musician Psy and created “Farmer Style.”
“We didn’t really know what to expect with the second video. Obviously our expectations were a little higher,” commented Peterson. “We had quite the following on Facebook, and we had a lot quicker start with ‘Farmer Style,’ but we didn’t think this one was going to surpass ‘I’m Farming and I Grow It.’”
“Farmer Style” received 1 million views in the first 24 hours of its debut and over 10 million views in the first week. Currently, the video has 15 million views on YouTube and has reached people in over 230 countries.
“Our parody was named one of the top five parodies of ‘Gangnam Style’ on the internet,” notes Peterson. “We also ended up getting a lot of urban consumers watching it. That was our goal – to draw some of the people who wouldn’t normally watch our videos.”
Other parody videos
The Peterson Farm brothers have a total of five parody videos with the other three being “A Fresh Breath of Farm Air,” from the theme song Fresh Prince of Bel Air, “Chore” from Katy Perry’s “Roar” and “Bale” from AWOLNATION’s “Sail.”
The equipment the brothers use to film their videos started on the family’s hand-held Kodak high definition video camera, but with the past four videos, they used their Samsung Galaxy cellphones.
“Pretty much anyone has the potential now, if they have a smartphone, to make a YouTube video,” stated Peterson. “There’s so many different YouTube videos out there that a person can make, and they probably have the tools, whether they realize it or not.”
“I think it’s important to get out there and do something because if we all work together to advocate we can get a lot done, and if we’re not telling our stories someone else will,” stated Peterson.
“With our videos, people were starting to make the connection that farmers make the food we all eat, and we realized there’s a lot of work to do to bridge that gap between the consumer and the producer,” explained Peterson.
“That’s become our mission now as we make more videos. We really try to educate as well as entertain,” said Peterson. “It’s not just about making people laugh. it’s about making people think and appreciate farmers and what they’re doing.”
For individuals who are not well versed in social media, Peterson says that by just starting to tell their story, it may have more of an impact than they realize.
“It’s pretty neat to think about how our videos went viral, but a personal conversation with someone can also go viral,” stated Peterson. “By telling one person about how passionate they are about feeding the world and growing food, those people can then go tell more people.”
“I think individual conversations can make a deeper impact than someone watching our videos,” said Peterson.
He continues, “When someone is watching our videos, it may make them think, may even make them laugh or change this opinion a little bit, but if somebody tells someone their personal testimony about why they are passionate about agriculture, I think that can really have an impact.”
Madeline Robinson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at email@example.com.
Timeline of the parody song “I’m Farming and I Grow It” impact
The Peterson’s video is posted to YouTube and has 1,000 views.
The Peterson brothers have their first media interview, and the video has 20,000 views.
Multiple statewide media and TV crews interview the Peterson brothers about the video, and the video now has 150,000 views.
The Peteron brothers receive a call from Fox News and fly to New York City, N.Y. for an interview. Their video has 500,000 views.
Fox News interviews the Peterson brothers. The video has 1 million views.
The Peterson brothers are back home working on the farm, and the video reaches 3 million views.
The Associated Press publishes a story about the brothers and Yahoo.com, USA Today and L.A. Times picks up the story. Their video reaches 5 million views.
Song success – The Peterson Farm Brothers had no idea their parody video would be such a success and have the wide reach it did. They made the song to show their friends that farming is cool and only expected to get a maximum of 50,000 views.