September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

Dairy farmers' role in "Feedin' A Nation"

Music parody raises awareness of hungry Americans
Doug Ode (far right) and his two sons, Ryan and Erik prepare to film a scene for the Feedin’ A Nation video. The song is a parody of the Beach Boys song, “Good Vibrations.”<br /><!-- 1upcrlf -->PHOTO BY MIDWEST DAIRY ASSOCIATION
Doug Ode (far right) and his two sons, Ryan and Erik prepare to film a scene for the Feedin’ A Nation video. The song is a parody of the Beach Boys song, “Good Vibrations.”<br /><!-- 1upcrlf -->PHOTO BY MIDWEST DAIRY ASSOCIATION

By by Missy Mussman- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

SLAYTON, Minn. - "Good, Good Food, Feedin' a Nation," a parody of the Beach Boys song "Good Vibrations," had Dave Schwartz doing the twist and turn in front of straw bales on Ode Dairy near Brandon, S.D.
"It's my kind of music," Schwartz said. "I love it."
Schwartz and nearly 65 other dairy farmers from Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska made their filming debut for the music parody "Feedin' A Nation" in early March. This music parody is now being used by Midwest Dairy Association (MDA) to help raise donations to Feeding America in order to help fight hunger.
MDA, on behalf of dairy farmers, is partnering with Feeding America to promote the music parody. For every view the video has from June 3 to June 30, MDA will donate $1 (up to $20,000) to Feeding America.
"It's one way we are helping support the work of Feeding America," Donna Moenning, senior vice president of integrated communications with MDA. "At the same time, Feeding America values the opportunity to support dairy farmers and promote the role they play in producing wholesome, nutritious food."
Moenning spearheaded the music parody's video production.
"With the growth in social media and photos and videos being top items shared, we knew we needed to try our hand at a music parody," Moenning said.
Moenning and DHTV Productions in Shawnee, Kan. started playing with what song to use and putting words together. They felt the Beach Boys song "Good Vibrations" would be the perfect fit.
"We wanted something that was going to be memorable, upbeat and resonate - leaving you humming the tune," Moenning said. "I think we have done that with 'Good, good food, feedin' a nation.'"
MDA knew they were going to need a large number of dairy farmers to be involved with the video production, so they wanted to keep the process simple.
"We knew we had singing dairy farmers out there," Moenning said. "But having them do the vocals would have made the process much more involved, so we had them do the on camera stuff instead."
When it came to finding the dairy farms to film the video, MDA had several dairy farms in mind to be a part of the effort. The video was filmed on the farms of Doug Ode, Bruce Brockshus, Lee Maassen and Darin Dykstra in South Dakota and Iowa with footage from Blue Diamond Dairy from Stearns County in Minnesota.
"We know it is a big undertaking for the farmers," Moenning said. "We appreciate those dairy farm families who have allowed us to come to their farm and video tape."
Filming a video like this takes a lot of patience.
"It took a lot of takes to match everything up with timing," Schwartz said. "We had to do about 20 takes to get it right, but it was so fun."
The video made it's debut at Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls, S.D. on March 27 and 28.
"It just took off from there," Moenning said. "People just started sharing and promoting it."
Currently, the video has 76,342 views on Youtube and even won a Telly Award, which honors the very best in film and video productions, groundbreaking online video content, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs.
While the dairy farmers were dancing and having fun, the purpose of this video was to help dairy farmers convey their passion and dedication in a fun way but also raise awareness that there are people that go with out food.
One in five children in the United States go hungry and 15 percent of households in rural communities are food insecure.
"We are singing about feeding a nation in the video and the role dairy farmers play in doing their part," Moenning said. "We hope this video helps raise attention for others who are in a position to do so, to join us in the effort of feeding a nation by, as the words in the song say, making a food bank donation."
Dairy is one of the top five items food banks need and want, according to Moenning. It only represents nearly five percent of the total volume of food that is given to others.
"Every year we give several cases of butter to the food bank and hospice house during the holidays," Schwartz said. "They always appreciate us for doing that."
MDA is encouraging everyone who is engaged in local June Dairy Month events to partner with their local food banks and take donations while raising awareness of hunger.
"We are planning to put up a "Feedin' A Nation" poster at the local food bank," Schwartz said. "It will help get more views for the video and hopefully get more donations."
This initiative and others like Fuel Up to Play 60 help demonstrate dairy farmers' dedication to important issues in society.
"We want to promote the dairy industry as part of the solution to the issue," Moenning said. "With dairy farmers involved in initiatives like this, they are held in high regard. Making use of social media through a video like this helps us to amplify telling their story and the good they do on their farms and the good they do as an industry to contribute to the important issues in our communities."
"It made good consumer connections," Schwartz said. "Feeding a nation is a big part of why dairy farmers do what they do. Dairy farmers will be proud of what we are doing for that."
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