Overlooked by the vast majority of the world’s population, found at the heart of the rural community, lies a profession that often goes unnoticed, underestimated and underappreciated – farming. While many, and even the producers themselves, might perceive farmers as simple cultivators of crops and tenders of livestock, they are much more. Farmers are the backbone of society, stewards of the environment, innovators and providers of tradition.
“Over the past year, Missouri Soybeans embarked on a journey to capture the untold stories of soybean producers from every corner of the state,” said Samantha Turner, director of communications and marketing. “Yet, in our quest to amplify the voices of these hardworking individuals, we encountered a humble refrain time and time again. When we approached them, they would respond with a modest, ‘you don’t want to hear from me. I’m just a farmer.’”
Little did they know these simple, heartfelt tales were precisely what Missouri Soybeans sought to share. However, it had become clear a different story needed to be told first.
The genesis of this video emerged from those four, simple words: “I’m just a farmer.” Rather than turning the Missouri Soybeans communications team away from capturing their experiences, the very telling, yet humble statement became the catalyst for the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council’s next video campaign.
“This video stands as a heartwarming reminder of the countless hours, the unwavering dedication and the profound impact our farmers have on our lives,” said Gary Wheeler, Missouri Soybeans CEO and executive director. “It is a heartfelt thank you to their unspoken heroism, and a testament to the boundless pride we feel for our producers who are more than just farmers.”
While Mark Lehenbauer, vice chair of the Merchandising Council, is prominently featured in the video, our deepest aspiration is that every farmer who watches is reminded that they too play roles that are equally vast and versatile. Mark’s presence serves as a representation of the countless dedicated farmers across our state, each with their own unique stories and contributions that collectively form the rich tapestry of Missouri’s agricultural heritage.
“We want every farmer to recognize their hard work and dedication are integral to the communities and thriving economy we cherish,” said Wheeler. “This video is a tribute not just to one, but to all. A celebration of the remarkable and diverse roles played by farmers.”
On Oct. 12, National Farmers Day, Missouri Soybeans is taking the opportunity to remind consumers and producers that farmers are more than stereotypes might suggest. They are environmental stewards, leaders, providers, listeners, cheerleaders, employers, role models, scientists, nutritionists, innovators, teachers, leaders, and friends.
So no, they are not just farmers. To their communities, farmers are everything.