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Grange presents first William Saunders Award for Rural Awareness

By National Grange Press Release (6/3/13)

  JUNE 3, 2013 --

National Grange President Edward L. Luttrell on Monday presented RAM the first William Saunders Award for Rural Awareness for their Super Bowl Commercial, “God Made a Farmer.”

“This commercial was not about RAM, but about the way RAM validated and honored the values of farmers and farm families,” Luttrell said before presenting the award to Carlos Jimenez, Director of Chrysler’s Mid-Atlantic Business Center. “It made a nation pause and reflect on the work that goes into feeding America and much of the world and started a conversation in small towns and large urban centers.”

Jimenez accepted the award and spoke to a crowd of about 30 Grange leaders gathered for the annual National Grange Fly-In, held to encourage members of the 145-year-old organization to speak directly to their elected officials about issues of importance to rural Americans and the agriculture sector.

“Farmers are the embodiment of what the RAM brand stands for – humble but confident,” Jimenez said during his presentation.

Jimenez said one major goal of RAM when creating this campaign was to “raise the awareness of urbanites about agriculture and what farm communities do on a daily basis.”

“This commercial sharply elevated the imagery urbanites have of the farming community,” Jimenez said. “We are truly proud to be the recipient of this first William Saunders Award for Rural Awareness. There is an entire floor of RAM thrilled to be honored in this way.”

RAM had a goal of raising $1 million in YouTube views of the commercial for FFA to support Feeding the World – Starting at Home Campaign, Jimenez said.  Within a week, he said, they had met that goal.

Jimenez talked about the other steps RAM is taking to support FFA, including the release of a coffee table picture book with about 200 pictures shot as part of the 2013 Year of the Farmer campaign in which 10 photographers were hired and spent 25 days taking more than 4,000 images that were reduced to the 35 shown in the commercial. Proceeds from the book will go to a soon-to-be-announced FFA program, Jimenez said.

The Fly-In began Sunday evening with a briefing by Joel White, President of Council for Affordable Health Care Coverage, on the status of the Affordable Care Act and ran through Tuesday. Democratic Representative and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee Collin Peterson also spoke to attendees about the status of the Farm Bill and expected developments in a Republican-controlled House.

Established in 1867, the National Grange, a nonpartisan, nonprofit fraternal organization, is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization. With more than 2,100 local chapters, the Grange has evolved into the nation’s leading rural advocacy organization and a major benefactor to local communities. There are more than 160,000 members across the United States. For more information on the National Grange, visit our website at www.nationalgrange.org.

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