Farmers: We like them! So does Dodge, I guess, because there’s not any other clear reason why the American car company would make this ad except to try to associate itself with a trade close to America’s scrappy — and white male — identity.
From Dodge’s portrayal, you’d hardly know that almost a third of farm operators are women, and the population of farm owners of color is growing by full percentage points each year. You’d also hardly know who does most of the work on most of those farms.
God made a farmer. Then god made thousands of field workers, approx. one of whom dies every day while working & making ~$10k/year. WTF god?
— Susie Cagle (@susie_c) February 4, 2013
American farm worker conditions are likened to “modern slavery,” where a precarious force of 50 to 80 percent undocumented workers picks the vast majority of our produce by hand, earning, on average, about $10,000 each year, though the majority of these workers are also parents supporting children. The numbers vary from state to state, but a large proportion of that workforce that spends each day picking food has to pay for their own sustenance with food stamps. The cheapest Dodge Ram pickup costs more than two years of their salary.
“To the farmer in all of us,” Dodge proclaims at the end of the ad. The farmer in me doesn’t really want a pickup truck, though — she’d much rather pay those field workers 40 percent more, passing along most of the cost to massive corporate distributors such that the average person would only pay $5 more each year for the tiniest (tiniest!) bit of labor ethics and human decency with their supper.
But you know, that’s just my farmer. What does yours think?