Most Hawkeye fans were fairly annoyed with the ridiculous antics of the Stanford marching band at the Rose Bowl. Myself included.
Referencing cow tipping, creating a corn maze, and playing the FarmersOnly.com jingle revealed a low-level of professionalism and lack of respect the band and its director have for Iowa's farmers. However, what frustrates me even more about the whole situation is the way people have responded to it. Most have had one of two reactions:
1. Hey Stanford, we're aren't all farmers, duh.
2. Hey Stanford, cows aren't really Iowa's thing. Try again.
The unfortunate thing about these arguments is that both try desperately to separate themselves from farmers, or at least Hollywood's stereotypical depiction of them.
However, the real argument here should be that, once again, farmers were inaccurately portrayed as uneducated, small minded, slow to comprehend, sporting overalls, and poor.
Let's set the record straight. Let's take a moment to talk about what a farmer really is. Let's discuss what it takes to be a successful farmer in today's global economy.
1. Farmers are veterinarians, mechanics, economists, small business owners, accountants, chemists, engineers, and teachers. Farmers have to be smart and must possess effective communication skills, both written and verbal.
2. Farmers feed the world, help power our temperature-controlled offices, and keep our economy moving forward. They know more about the weather than the average bear because their livelihood depends on it.
3. Farmers can't do their jobs without equipment that is often valued at more than what most of us will ever spend on a house. Banks respect them. And so should we.
4. Farmers have better work ethics and push themselves harder than most of us. And when they take care of their family members and neighbors they aren't being taken advantage of, they're showing the rest of us how a civilized human being should act.
5. Farmers get to enjoy nature every single day. While we are longing for a weekend hike or forking over money to rent a cabin, farmers are living in and breathing the fresh air of God's green earth from sun up to sun down.
I grew up on a farm and moved my family to the country so that our kids can also experience the wealth of benefits that come with living in a rural setting. I wouldn't trade a single bit of knowledge that I gained from living on a farm.
Stanford showed a lack of good judgment, but as we so very kindly point this out, perhaps we should take this opportunity to more closely align ourselves with these brilliant, hardworking folks that we have the privilege to share our state with.
Because, after all...the helmet is correct.
America. Needs. Farmers.