Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Video promotes dairy farms, farmers

By Renae B. Vander Schaaf
agripen@live.com

Date Modified: 07/02/2013 11:05 AM

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OCHEYEDAN — Who says you can't have fun with what you do for a living?

Dairy farmers working with Midwest Dairy Association have put together a funny YouTube video that shows a modern dairy farm.

The parody is set to the tune of "Good Vibrations" as recorded by the Beach Boys. The words were changed to reflect the dairy industry — "Good, Good Food, Feedin' A Nation" tells the story well.

"We wanted a tune that was memorable, upbeat and would resonate with all ages," said Donna Moenning, Midwest Dairy Association."I think we found a winner in the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations." The words for the music easily fell into place once we landed on the phrase Feedin' a Nation."

The video features 65 dairy people, ranging in age from 1 to 81. The video was filmed on farms in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. The Brockshus Dairy from Ocheydan is one of the dairies featured.

Jason Brockshus, who dairies with his wife, parents, sister and sons, is seen in the opening scene waking up to an alarm at 3:29 a.m.. His sons later are seen bringing tulips to the dairy cows.

When he first learned about the video, he thought it was a great idea, but he hesitated before saying yes. His four sons convinced him that it would be fun.

The YouTube video can be seen at youtube.com/user/MidwestDairy.

"It is corny. It's supposed to be -- it is a parody," said Brockshus. "It gives a serious message, that dairy farmers are real people. We raise our families, we share the same values, and dairying is our passion."

Mark Honer, of DHTV Digital in Shawnee, Kans., came to Maassen Dairy near Maurice a few months before the video was filmed. He and Lee Maassen toured dairies in the area.

The weather didn't always cooperate, Maassen said. Some outdoor scenes were moved indoors.

"I have to give special thanks to Jason Brockshus, Lee Maassen and Doug Ode," said Honer. "These three guys turned their farms upside down for us. A few of them literally built sets in a matter of minutes using heavy equipment and that ever present 'whatever it takes' attitude of a dairy farmer."

The shoots went surprisingly smooth thanks to Midwest Dairy's coordination of actors and their willingness to do anything asked of them. They also learned their lines and their choreography very quickly, Honer said.

Honer credits Donna Moenning and her team at MDA. Without their organization, it would have been impossible to accomplish what they did in four days.

The MDA has partnered with Feeding America. For each new view of the video during June, Midwest Dairy will donate $1 for every view to its Feedin' A Nation parody video up to $20,000.

"In many ways, we live in the land of plenty," said Moenning. "But for one in six people in the United States, hunger is reality. That number is one in five for children in rural areas. Feeding America estimates that 15 percent of households are food insecure."