Last week, I tackled the topic of celebrities who do a disservice to agriculture. But we can’t stop there! This week I’m sharing the flip side, the good news. Here they are in no particular order; celebrities who promote farmers and really get it right.
Celebrity #7: Luke Bryan
The son of a peanut farmer, Luke has said if it wasn’t for music he would definitely be working in ag. For the second year this October, he partnered with Bayer and Feeding America with a goal of donating half a million meals through the popular social media hashtag #Thankful4Ag. His eighth annual Farm Tour visited eight farms this harvest season that received donations from Bayer. Not only that, but a part of his proceeds from the Farm Tour was used to fund scholarships to kids from these farm families. You can also check out his first ever Farm Tour EP “Here’s to the farmer” here. It’s very sweet. Thank you, Mr. Bryan!
Celebrity #6: Jordy Nelson
Despite signing a $39 million contract, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson says he identifies as more of a farmer than a football player and still works on the family’s 1,000-head cattle and 4,000-acre wheat farm during the offseason. He regularly contributes his hard work ethic to his farming background and says the 12-hour days he puts in on the farm is much harder work than the NFL. In addition to farming, he has been known to speak at different agricultural events to promote farming and contributes much of his success to his rural upbringing.
Celebrity #5: Chris Soules
The reality show star of “The Bachelor,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and “Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Addition” is back to his roots as a corn, hog, and soybean farmer in Iowa. As an official spokesman and ambassador for agriculture, he is traveling, speaking, and raising money and awareness for agriculturally related charities. Soules is also continuing to tell the story of the future of sustainable farming while connecting to the younger generation of our future farmers. For more information on what he is up to these days, visit www.ChrisSoules.com.
Celebrity #4: Jimmy Kimmel
On Chris Soules’ website, you can watch the video clips of him on the Jimmy Kimmel show talking farming. Kimmel has also had different guests on his show who have shared their experiences on farms, but what really makes him stand out is his viral video, “What is a GMO.” With several million views on social media and YouTube, Kimmel has managed to tap into a very wide audience, using humor to get the point across that most people against GMOs actually don’t even understand what a GMO actually is. In my opinion, we need a lot more celebrities doing this to reach the mainstream media on topics that matter the most. Watch the video if you haven’t already. Seriously, it’s good.
Celebrity #3: Bono
As co-founder of (RED) and the ONE campaign, the singer has raised millions of dollars to help with health improvements, vaccine innovation, and alleviate extreme hunger in Africa. In partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, THRIVE campaign, and AGRA, this has included improving agricultural production to the farmers who need it the most and is an outspoken philanthropist and proponent of genetic engineering as a helpful tool for today’s modern farms. Looks like Bono is pro-science all around for the future of humanity.
Celebrity #2: Penn & Teller
In their hit TVs show “BULLSHIT!” magicians Penn & Teller have called BS on the crazy likes of PETA, the Organic industry, and the anti-GMO crowd in general. They praise modern agricultural technology and the likes of Norman Borlaug.
Celebrity #1: Mike Rowe
From castrating lambs, working with eggs, pigs and cows, to inseminating turkeys, the “Dirty Jobs” star isn’t afraid to get dirty and tell it like it is. He is incredibly supportive of farmers, pro-GMO, and all around shares inspiring stories about farming. Mike considers himself a friend to agriculture and works on creating a true story about our industry while standing up against the likes of HSUS and PETA while speaking at many agricultural events, shows, and supports the FFA. He believes more people need to share the truth about our industry and connect more people to how their food is really produced. Thank you, Mike!
A couple honorable mentions who need no introduction: Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye the Science Guy! Also worth noting: Unlike Carrie Underwood who has donated money to HSUS, which only donates 1 percent to animal shelters, Miranda Lambert has donated money to local shelters direct through her animal charity MuttNation, a much more reputable and charitable organization.