For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Contact for Reporters:
Jennifer Dimas
970.491.1543
Jennifer.Dimas@ColoState.EDU



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Colorado State University Students Sing the Praises of Farming in Justin Bieber Video Spoof

FORT COLLINS - Students studying agricultural sciences at Colorado State University are tapping Bieber Fever with a winning video spoof that touts farming.

Members of the CSU Collegiate Farm Bureau club produced their take on Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” for a first-time Colorado Farm Bureau video contest. The CSU chapter won first place and $1,000 during the Colorado Farm Bureau annual meeting in Denver on Nov. 17.

Instead of crooning, “If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go,” as does the teen heartthrob, the aggie advocates sing:

If I was your farmer, I’d never let you starve
I’d feed you all your protein, calcium and carbs
I could be conventional – anything you want
If I was your farmer, I’d never let you starve

The CSU students – flaunting their “swagriculture” – hope their hook enthralls farming fans just as Bieber’s “Boyfriend” grabbed his groupies when it debuted last spring in the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

“We’re hoping a lot of young people will connect with it because it takes off from a Justin Bieber song,” said Clay Miller, an agricultural education and agricultural business student who grew up on a Quarter Horse ranch near Fort Morgan. He harmonizes the parody’s chorus. “We want to help people understand that food doesn’t come from a grocery store.”

“If I Was Your Farmer” is part of an emerging trend of agricultural advocacy spearheaded by high-school and college students who want to publicly laud the work of farmers and ranchers who feed the world. Many of these efforts use social media to sing the praises of agriculture.

Some examples of the trend are light-hearted, like the parody music video “I’m Farming and I Grow It,” a take on LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” The video, produced by the Peterson Farm Bros. of Kansas, went viral this year on Facebook – with nearly 8 million views – and inspired the Colorado Farm Bureau video contest.

“We’ve seen what can be done through social media in getting agriculture’s message out,” said Troy Bredenkamp, executive vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau.

Other examples of “agvocacy” are educational, as in the Ag Adventure program that has become a trademark in the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences. This program, led by CSU students, teaches youngsters about the sources of their food and fiber using farm animals, games and interactive displays.

And a few examples of the trend are confrontational, as in the “Stand Up for Agriculture” video produced by Farmers Fight, a student group that began at Texas A&M University in response to a Yahoo! News post that denigrated the value of college degrees in some agricultural disciplines.

Running through all these efforts is a shared understanding that agriculture is more important now than ever before. That’s because the industry must feed a booming global population – expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050 – while at the same time protecting critical environmental resources. Students are passionate about contributing to global food security and environmental conservation through a wide array of contemporary agricultural sciences.

“We are excited because we really want to be advocates for agriculture,” said Jessica Milstein, an agricultural education major who helped write the parody’s lyrics and has a starring role in the “If I Was Your Farmer” video. “Agriculture is our backbone in this country. We have food on the table, clothes on our back and roofs over our heads, and it all relates back to agriculture.”

View “If I Was Your Farmer” at www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_jRIqnnPoo&feature=g-all-u.

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