ASSARIA — After achieving fame with homemade farm videos that parody popular songs, the Peterson Farm Brothers have recorded their first original tune.
In 2012, three brothers from a fifth-generation farm family in Assaria had an idea to make a parody music video to help educate their city friends about farming. The result, “I’m Farming and I Grow It,” a parody of the song “I’m Sexy and I Know it” by LMFAO, was an unexpected viral hit on YouTube.
In just two weeks, the song — recorded using cellphones — received more than five million views in more than 200 countries. It earned the brothers a trip to New York City for a live broadcast on Fox News, multiple interviews with television stations and newspapers, and appearances at the Texas State Fair and other events around the country.
The brothers — Greg, 25, Nathan, 23, and Kendal, 20 — followed this initial success with nine more song parody videos, accumulating more than 42 million views and prompting invitations to speak about agriculture at events throughout the world.
“The first video was meant to be just a single thing — we didn’t know it would build up to this,” said eldest brother Greg Peterson. “It’s a testament to how powerful social media can be.”
Now the brothers have recorded and filmed their first original song, “Farming and Football,” available for viewing on YouTube.
Farming and football
Greg Peterson, who wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the music, said the hip-hop-styled song is a mashup of comparisons, similarities and metaphors that show how farming and football relate to each other. There also is a strong educational message about how much of what one sees at a football game and eats at a tailgate party comes from farmers.
“I love football, but I also wanted to say that you couldn’t have football without farmers,” he said. “It says while you’re enjoying football, don’t forget the farmers who do these things for you.”
Peterson wrote the lyrics to the song last winter and worked out the tune with a music producer friend in Wichita. The video was filmed in late summer on the family’s Assaria farm and includes cameos by the Petersons’ parents and a performance by their younger sister Laura, 16, a junior at Southeast of Saline High School.
“It took some convincing, because our sister is shy, but we told her we’d make her look cool,” Peterson said. “We wanted to show that we’re not just three brothers, that we want to include our mom and sister too. Farming is not just a male driven thing.”
More videos expected
Peterson thinks “Farming and Football” is the brothers’ best video to date, although he said you do have to be partial to Kansas State University to enjoy it fully.
“There’s a lot of pro-K-State stuff there,” said Peterson, a 2013 graduate of the university with a degree in agricultural communications.
Between farm duties, Peterson said he and his brothers probably will continue to write and shoot video parodies of popular songs mixed with original material. As funny as the videos can be, he said, they do have a serious purpose.
“There are many misconceptions about modern day farmers, and we feel it is our calling to help correct some of those misconceptions,” he said. “Through all of this, we hope to educate the general public on where our food comes from and what a real Midwest farm family looks like.”
-- Salina Journal Reporter Gary Demuth can be reached at 822-1405 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.