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Perhaps if there was one pleasant surprise to watching a Super Bowl, aside from watching the Kansas City Chiefs win the Lombardi Trophy, it could be that there was not much controversy over production agriculture issues.

Over the years as political forces and causes tended to dominate the paid advertisement before and during the Super Bowl it seemed production agriculture found its way on the national stage. The unforgettable Paul Harvey’s “So God made a farmer” campaign championed by Dodge Ram trucks was a hit with consumers but the forgettable campaign by Budweiser saying Bud Light is not made with corn syrup unlike its competitors only muddied the water over nutrition and agricultural interests.

After all isn’t it just a football game? Yes, but over 100 million people watched this years game. The Super Bowl is the most watched program of the year as it draws passionate and casual fans who like to see the ads and halftime entertainment. The Super Bowl has provided a venue for Doritos, which featured western icon Sam Elliott in a humorous pitch for Cool Ranch chips.

While it has been said a picture is worth a thousand words an uninformed message of several hundreds words can illustrate nothing.

The Super Bowl, in its purest form, brings together the teams from two conferences to compete for the Lombardi Trophy. Only one team can claim that title each year.

The messages from the game continue to flow throughout the year, which is why Madison Avenue loves the Super Bowl because it is the stage to get a toehold into the rest of the marketing year.

Perhaps it is no surprise that the topics surrounding day-to-day production agriculture were not showcased as they have been in the past. The early signs of 2020, while still in the fragile stage, are more encouraging than a year ago. Farm income, bolstered by government support, shows some signs of stability. It is too early to say how trade agreements may translate into farm income.

What we have learned from the Super Bowl that can be applied to agriculture is that when a team is committed to winning and has leaders who can adjust their game when the odds are against them, success is attainable.

This year means Americans will decide whether to re-elect President Donald Trump or choose a new commander-in-chief.

Agriculture’s true Super Bowl, like for many Americans will occur Nov. 3, and there will be much excitement (and drudgery) during a lengthy campaign season. Agriculture is the bedrock of the U.S. economy, and a strong farm economy is what drives the High Plains economy. Agriculture’s voice has to be heard not only on farm income but also on the interconnectivity of its rural fabric and infrastructure, which has surely been tested and stressed.

The Super Bowl win by Kansas City brought great joy to the heartland. Our hope is the message that when a team works together everyone wins. It can still can happen.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or dbergmeier@hpj.com.

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