Fluorescent T-shirts and a giant corn cob: What was the deal with the fair's flash mob?
Driving through Douglas County in the late summer and early fall is like cruising through a John Deere calendar. Why then does farming take a back seat to the manufacturing industry, which is also prevalent in the area?
It is in part because of that oversight that Katie Satterlie, a self-described farmer's daughter, organized the Douglas County Corn and Soybean Growers "flash mob" that many people were surprisingly entertained by at the 2012 Douglas County Fair.
Dancers gathered at 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 18 and busted synchronized moves to the Peterson brothers' "I'm Farming and I Grow It" song from their video that went viral on YouTube.
"A lot of people think farms are corporate farms," Satterlie said. "We wanted to let people know it's also a family business in our area."
The song is a version of LMFAO's "I'm sexy and I know it" and the brothers' video has almost 7 million views to date. The Peterson brothers live on a farm in Kansas.
The Douglas County Corn and Soybean Growers video has received more than 1,500 hits. Another version combining all five angles that were captured on video is planned to be launched on YouTube.
"The Peterson brothers' video was awesome. It brings farming into the light in tumultuous times for farmers," Satterlie said.
Satterlie is bringing the Douglas County Corn and Soybean Growers into current times as well; she created and maintains the organization's website. Satterlie grew up on a farm in Evansville. Her family has been farming for three generations.
Satterlie said the main reason for doing the flash mob was to give a voice to the farmers and remind folks that farming in Douglas County is at the core of our economy.
"Farming is a hard job," Satterlie said. "I respect what farmers do. During harvest, when the sun's up, you're up and when the dew is off the field, you're out there."
Douglas County Corn and Soybean Growers sold fluorescent yellow and orange T-shirts during the fair for $5. Proceeds will be used to support scholarships given to graduating seniors in Douglas County who are pursuing an agriculture-related major in college.
FARM FACTS DISPLAYED DURING FLASH MOB
93 percent of Douglas County farms are operated by families.
Farmers and farm managers make up the third most common occupation in Douglas County.
The agriculture and food industry is the second largest employer in Minnesota with 367,000 jobs.
One Douglas County farmer can feed 155 people.
One acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.
More than 100,000 acres of farm land produce corn and beans every year in Douglas County.
There are mire than 3,500 uses for corn.
Provided by the Douglas County Corn and Soybean Growers.
Crystal Dey Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter at @CrystalDey_Echo.