By Becca Harrison, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Intern
Maybe it’s not what he was referring to in his hit-single “All Over the Road,” but Easton Corbin has spent this year traveling the roads of rural America to meet with FFA chapters and members around the country.
Through his partnership with Ram Trucks, Corbin is celebrating Ram’s The Year of the Farmer by holding small events featuring his songs. These events provide an opportunity for members to interact and discuss agriculture and FFA with him and each other, communicating the notion that there is a “Farmer in All of Us.”
Ram kicked off The Year of the Farmer in February with the debut of their Super Bowl commercial, “Farmer,” which has garnered over 16 million views on YouTube. For every one million views, Ram pledged to donate $100,000, for a maximum donation of $1 million; viewers overwhelmingly supported the two-minute video, reaching 10 million views within days.
As a result, a $1 million check was presented to the National FFA Foundation, on behalf of Ram Trucks, by Corbin and Ram Trucks President and CEO Reid Bigland during the first session of the 86th National FFA Convention and Expo, held in Louisville, Ky.
As the “Farmer” video suggests, many budding farmers – including FFA members – were inspired by their grandfathers and fathers. As a former member of the Trent FFA Chapter in Florida, Corbin was no different.
“I remember when I was in sixth grade and [my grandfather] asked me if I wanted to show a cow and I was like, ‘well yeah!’” Corbin said. “So, my grandpa was a big influence on me. He’s always been such a hardworking guy. I’ve always looked up to him. You know, he really taught me a lot.”
Corbin spoke highly of the skills and values he learned through both FFA and his grandfather. Most important, he says, are his work ethic and people skills – both of which have helped him as a successful agricultural business student at the University of Florida, and ultimately as an entertainer and partner with Ram.
“Ram has been a supporter of the FFA organization for well over fifty years,” says Marissa Hunter, the head of marketing communications for the Ram Truck brand. “The FFA organization’s values are very much in line with Ram’s. We respect what FFA stands for, and the good that students contribute. We are very proud to be affiliated with it.”
Ram sees Corbin’s music as a way to bring together local FFA chapters to celebrate and acknowledge The Year of the Farmer, Hunter continued. “He is a great spokesman, especially as a past FFA member. His deeper appreciation and fit was perfect.”
“For me, it’s a way of giving back to an organization that’s given me so much,” Corbin says. “It’s been great with the kids; they just love it, and of course I have a great time. It’s all organic, it’s not scripted. It’s just all natural, we get out there with them … and have a good time.”
Becca Harrison is a former member of Cobleskill-Richmondville FFA chapter in NY. She is currently a senior at Cornell University, studying animal science & international agriculture. Her studies have taken her from India to the White House, & you can follow her adventures on Twitter @_beccaharrison.