PETERSON FARM BROS EDUCATE AND ENTERTAIN
NOWADAYS, IT’S FAIRLY easy to get your 15 seconds of fame. The rise of social media, and especially YouTube, has created superstars virtually overnight. More challenging than becoming famous is maintaining that fame, and even rarer is using that power to educate.
Enter Greg Peterson and his brothers Nathan and Kendal, known online as the Peterson Farm Bros. Since 2012, they have been writing and filming parody music videos to help educate the public about farming. With nearly 16 million views around the world of their first song, “I’m Farming and I Grow It”, a parody of the popular song “I’m Sexy and I Know It”, they are educating the entire world on farming practices. “I’m Farming and I Grow It” received over five million views in just two weeks. Since then, they have continued to make videos, with eight song parodies and many other videos about their lives on the farm.
“We have been fortunate enough to have a significant global reach since our very first video came out,” says Greg Peterson. “Our parodies have been viewed in over 230 countries, with over 35 of those countries boasting at least 100,000 views! We have been able to travel around the world to speak about our videos and meet the people who watch them. It has been truly remarkable to see the reach and the impact our videos have had.”
CHART: VIDEOS POSTED TO THE PETERSON BROS. YOUTUBE CHANNEL HAVE BEEN VIEWED AROUND THE WORLD.
Peterson hails from Assaria, Kansas. His family’s farm primarily raises beef cattle on their feedlot operation, but also grows corn, alfalfa, and forage sorghum as feed and wheat, milo, and soybeans for cash crops. His internet fame has brought him to Canada, Germany, Australia, and soon, South Africa. The videos have viewers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, France, and more.
“People tend to generalize farming and farmers but I think the diversity has surprised me more than anything. One of the biggest things that we’ve realized is that, while farming is different everywhere you go, the issues and challenges farmers face are similar,” says Peterson. “You can always relate to another farmer, no matter where they are from.”
Peterson says social media and the internet have allowed farmers all over the world to be connected to, and inspired by, one another like never before.
“I don’t think I had any idea the capabilities social media had to take something and give you such opportunity to run with it. But social media hasn’t been the only reason we’ve had an impact. All of the people who share our videos, who follow us online, who help us in our quest to share information, they have helped us more than anything. They have surpassed my expectations as well.”
His family’s videos aren’t limited to an agricultural audience. It was Peterson’s idea to make a parody music video with his younger brothers to help educate their city friends about farming. When they were making the first video, their goal was to create a tool to help show their friends and family what their farm was like, but it has evolved beyond that.
“Our goal is to be a voice for farmers and for agriculture as a whole. We hope we can provide truthful and accurate information in an online world of inaccuracies. While we enjoy making videos, we hope to use our social media platform as a whole to help positively influence peoples’ opinion of farming.”
They pride themselves on their entertaining and educational videos. “We have gotten messages from parents in other countries about how their kids watch our videos before they go to bed at night,” says Peterson.
Peterson spoke at Grain Farmers of Ontario’s March Classic held in London in March about the role social media played in his rise to fame. He also let slip that he and his brothers are in the midst of producing a new video to be released this summer. Watch for their newest parody on their YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/ ThePetersonFarmBros. •