A year ago today, I shared in my Valentine's Day blog that the founder of Hallmark Cards, Joyce C. (J.C.) Hall, an 18-year-old entrepreneur from Nebraska, who first started the Norfolk Post Card Company, moved the entire business to Kansas City, Mo., in 1908, in no more than two shoe boxes. By 1913, Hall and his brothers were operating Hall's department store, selling postcards and greeting cards and in 1928, he marketed the cards under the "Hallmark" brand name.
At a time when advertising was considered a waste of money, Hall began creating and placing ads and soon established Hallmark as the most recognizable brand name in the industry. Today, some may refer to Valentine's Day as a "Hallmark Holiday", or one that primarily exists for commercial purposes, rather than a holiday simply set aside to celebrate the loved ones in our life.
Fast forward 100 years to 2013, the Hallmark Card company still calls Kansas City home and the "BBQ Capital of the World" now attracts some of this nation's largest agriculture conventions and shows.
I recently attended the AG CONNECT Expo and Summit, a global trade show that features the latest innovations and technologies in agribusiness products and services. Along with my co-national executive coordinator and filmmaker/producer of the Great American Wheat Harvest (GAWH) documentary film, we hosted a V.I.P. Breakfast Reception, where our sponsors and custom harvester "rockstars" had a chance to speak about their participation in the film to other attendees:
|Barry Nelson, manager of media relations for John Deere Ag and Turf Division, addresses Great American Wheat Harvest V.I.P. breakfast reception attendees.|
We debuted our NEW trailer:
and attended many coinciding functions of the U.S. Custom Harvesters national convention, including a concert of the Canadian-born, now U.S.-residing country music group, High Valley:
|From L to R: GAWH National Executive Coordinators, Melody Dobson and Jody Lamp; High Valley lead singer, Brad Rempel; GAWH filmmaker and producer, Conrad Weaver; High Valley's Curtis and Bryan Rempel.|
And on the eighth day, God made a .........While many, okay..... a few..... of my passions in life, including my faith, family and career, go beyond my love for my Nebraska Huskers, I was pleasantly surprised the week after returning from Ag Connect that wearing my Husker "bling" to my podiatrist appointment would incite an agriculture advocacy conversation.
Sidebar: Amongst other things....20+ years of choosing "style" over "sensibility" in the shoe department has done a number of my wheels....I will eventually need a complete overhaul! But I digress.....
It was just a few days after the Dodge Ram, "So, God Made A Farmer" commercial aired during the Super Bowl. Even in your own living room, you could sense that like you, the entire viewing audience must have stopped.....took pause.....and listened again to that famous radio voice of Paul Harvey's, say...."So God Made A Farmer."
"So, you like football?" my podiatrist asked, upon noticing my jewelry. "I see you like the Huskers. Did you watch the Super Bowl?"
"Yes, I do and yes, I did!" I answered. "But I didn't watch the Super Bowl for the teams that played...I watched for the commercials."
My podiatrist ensued with barrage of comments:
"Oh! Did you see that 'So, God Made A Farmer commercial?!
"Wasn't that awesome!
I talked to a friend of mine and told him, 'Can you believe that there are people watching this commercial right now, who don't even realize where their food comes from.'"
"Yes, I know," I said. "Hard to believe...but it's true!"