Illinois farmers won the Super Bowl
By M.P. Cremer
Super Bowl Sunday is right up there with Christmas morning and the Fourth of July for me – I love it. Admittedly, I am not a big National Football League fan. I’m more of a college football girl.
Nonetheless, I love the Super Bowl. And what’s not to love? The food is always divine, the halftime show is always entertaining, the game is always fun to watch, and my husband always places a few sports bets he’s bound to lose which creates a good laugh for me.
The only aspect of the Super Bowl that is not a consistent win in my book is the commercials.
When I was younger, I loved Super Bowl commercials. They were impactful, innovative and memorable.
I mean, who doesn’t remember the Dilly Dilly commercial from Bud Light? The Snickers commercial starring Betty White is one I still giggle at today. I still quote Old Spice’s “Look at your man, now back to me, now back to your man, now back to me” commercial.
And no one can forget the arguably best Super Bowl commercial of all time – Dodge’s 2013 “So God Made a Farmer.”
I know I’m going to sound like a geezer when I say this, but they just don’t make Super Bowl commercials like they used to. In fact, in recent years, there’s been a few commercials that don’t sit well with me.
The first one coming to mind is the 2021 Oatley commercial where the founder of Oatley openly dissed the dairy industry. My optometrist said I wasn’t allowed to watch this one anymore because my eyes were strained from the constant eye rolling this specific commercial caused.
My eyes have also rolled at countless Beyond and Impossible commercials, just as they do every time I see an animal activist fighting to get Budweiser’s Clydesdales off of their TV screen.
I guess these commercials in the past few years have me a little cynical – I anticipated quite a few ag-bashing ads, but to my surprise, I was mistaken.
Instead, we were met with Sarah McLachlan spoofing her own American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals commercial with Busch Beer’s wildlife commercial. We saw many commercials about food, and none of them promoted alternative proteins.
We saw ads promoting fresh dog food, avocados, peanuts and beer – all of which fall under the agricultural umbrella.
I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t take this time to really talk about a commercial only shown in certain parts of the country from Illinois Farm Families. It didn’t hit my TV screen, but the good people of Illinois got to see a heck of a commercial showcasing Illinois farmers and boasting their status of 96 percent of farms in Illinois being owned by families.
Per their website, Illinois Farm Families states, “Nearly 70,000 families own and operate family farms in Illinois, growing versatile crops like corn, soybeans and wheat, plus important proteins and nutrient sources like pork, beef and dairy and even specialty crops like pumpkins, peaches and horseradishes.”
“What we grow and how we grow it might look different from farm to farm, but the thing that’s true for nearly all of us, is we’re doing it as a family. This creates an inherently strong desire to do it in a way our family – and yours – can be proud of,” the website continues.
And proud of this statement they are, at least, this is what it looked like in their Super Bowl commercial.
In the 30-second commercial from Illinois Farm Families, we hear the narrator say, “Believe it or not, most folks think farms in Illinois are run by big, faceless corporations. The truth is, 96 percent of farms are actually owned and operated by families. Yep, 96 percent, and we’re 100 percent committed to bringing you the most sustainably grown, healthiest food anywhere.”
As the narrator talks, the commercial shows family members and the roles they play on the farm.
We see a young girl who’s labeled as an “intern,” a lower-end-of-middle-aged farmer whose title is “chief executive officer,” a woman who looks like she’s bookkeeping with the title of “treasurer,” a young boy, surrounded by pens of pigs, who’s role is “procurement” and a friendly looking dog who is described to be “human resources.”
The commercial finishes up with the narrator saying, “Illinois family farmers – we are the 96 percent.”
I’ll use an old, revival saying to capture my reaction – if that doesn’t light your fire, your wood’s wet.
Illinois Farm Families said exactly what needed to be said, not only for agriculture in Illinois, but agriculture all across America.
I wish everyone watching the Super Bowl could’ve seen this commercial, and I’m extremely happy I stumbled upon it.
Those interested in watching can find it on YouTube by typing “Illinois Farm Families, we are the 96 percent” into the search bar. It is the first video that pops up. The commercial can also be found at youtu.be/3uDgRenHtOM.