Peterson Brothers tell their story in music

photo The Peterson Brothers will be the featured speakers at the 2016 Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum during the main session that starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3. They will also be featured during the FFA program, which starts at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4. They are known nationwide for their song parodies with an agricultural theme.

They’re farmin’ and they show it.

The Peterson Farm Brothers first made an impression in 2012 with their music video “I’m Farming and I Grow It.” The parody of the song “I’m Sexy and I Know It” went viral on the YouTube Internet site.

The brothers will speak during the Pacific Northwest Farm Forum main session starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, and again during the FFA program at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4. The brothers give presentations based on their videos, said Greg Peterson.

“We produce YouTube videos basically to entertain people, but also to advocate for agriculture and farming,” Peterson said. “We want people to take notice of farmers and appreciate them for what they do.”

The Petersons live on a fifth-generation family farm in Kansas, raising beef cattle, wheat, corn, soybeans, sorghum and alfalfa.

Greg, 25, works full-time on the farm, while brothers Nathan, 22, and Kendall, 19, attend college.

When addressing younger audiences, the brothers talk about making the videos and exploring opportunities that life presents, Greg Peterson said. They also stress the importance of advocating for agriculture and other passions such as farming, FFA and rural life.

The videos are most popular among ag audiences, but are finding an urban audience. Teachers tell the brothers they use the videos in classrooms to help show students about farming.

Peterson believes the reason the videos have connected with audiences can be traced to their roots.

“Most people have a farming background somewhere in their past, somewhere in their ancestry,” he said. “Even if they don’t have that, I think people can really connect to a typical Midwest farm family who is helping produce food for the world to eat — as well as three brothers having fun, singing and making these videos together.”

The brothers receive monthly payments from YouTube and for speaking, but they are not paid for the parody videos because they don’t own the music, Peterson said.

The Petersons will also talk about social media use during their presentation.

As audiences become further removed from the farm, Peterson believes advocacy is important.

“It’s up to everyone involved to really try to tell the story of ag to other people,” he said.

Greg handles the behind-the-scenes work, writing lyrics, editing videos and booking events for the brothers. He estimates he divides his time between the videos and the farm roughly half and half. The brothers focus on farmwork during planting and harvest, he said.

The Petersons plan to farm together, but also hope to continue making the videos, perhaps eventually shifting away from parodies.

“We definitely want to keep using social media to tell the story of agriculture and advocate for what farmers are doing,” Greg Peterson said. “I don’t think this will ever be a full-time venture, but it’s certainly something you can do along with something else.”

Their other videos include “Farmer Style,” a parody of “Gangnam Style” by Psy; “Chore,” a parody of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and “I’m So Farmer,” a three-in-one parody of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” Iggy Azaelea’s “Fancy” and “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen.”

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