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Friday, February 7th, 2014

Ag Day event ready to host YouTube star

By Nancy Allen
One of three Kansas brothers who became instant stars with popular YouTube videos about farming will speak at the inaugural Mercer County Ag Day on April 15.
Greg Peterson will be the featured presenter at the event at the Mercer County Fairgrounds, according to Wright State University-Lake Campus professor Greg Homan, who made the announcement during Thursday's monthly agriculture breakfast meeting in Celina.
"They travel all over the country and tell about their experiences and the importance of agriculture," Homan said of the Peterson brothers. "Using humor in their songs has given them the opportunity to promote ag to a wider community ... they use the videos to grab a larger audience."
The Peterson brothers, three Kansas farm boys, became instant stars when their video, "I'm Farming And I Grow it," a parody of the popular song, "I'm Sexy And I Know It," went viral in 2012.
The siblings have since recorded more songs such as "Farmer Style," a parody of "Gangnam Style" by Psy, and "Chore," a parody of the popular Katy Perry song "Roar."
Brothers Greg, Nathan and Kendal Peterson wear caps, T-shirts with cutoff sleeves and jeans while jumping off hay bales, riding tractors, feeding cattle and doing other farm-related chores in their videos.
Homan said Peterson will speak at the 7:30 a.m. ag breakfast meeting, which is being moved to the junior fair building. Cost is $10. Later in the day, area FFA students, 4-H members and junior fair youth will be invited to attend a free luncheon to hear Peterson speak, Homan said.
The Mercer County Cattlemen's Association and Mercer County Pork Producers will provide food for the luncheon.
Homan said it was county fair manager Cara Muhlenkamp's idea to invite Peterson to speak at the event, which also will include displays, vendors and other ag-related activities.
"I think it's really neat what they (Petersons) are trying to do by appealing to the youth of agriculture and bringing awareness to ag," Muhlenkamp said. "I have heard them speak in video conferences through different organizations and they are very empowering."
Muhlenkamp hopes to make the spring Mercer County Ag Day an annual event with a different featured speaker or activity each year. Those not attending the breakfast can enter the fairgrounds at no cost to view various displays set up by local agribusinesses, WSU-LC and other entities, until about 12:30 p.m.
More vendors are welcome, she said.
"We just announced it Saturday so it's been kind of a whirlwind," Muhlenkamp said. "Everybody's really excited about it."    Anyone interested in reserving a spot for the breakfast should call the fair office at 419-586-3239 by 4:30 p.m. April 4. Attendees will pay at the door.
Also during Thursday's ag breakfast, students from Homan's comparative studies class gave a presentation on a recent trip they took to Jamaica to tour various ag operations. Jamaica, a 4,243-square-mile island in the Caribbean Sea, is the largest exporter of bananas in the world and also produces oranges, grapefruit, lemons, coffee and cocoa. Most of the people are very poor and ag operations lack technology, the students said. Jamaica's economy is tied heavily to the tourism industry, they noted.
The next Mercer County ag breakfast meeting is 7:30 a.m. March 6 at the county central service building in Celina.
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