From A Shepherd, 'Thanks Ralph Lauren'

Show-Me Life

The farmer in the limelight at the in 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Published on: January 31, 2014

Yes, I have Olympic fever. I am amazed to watch athletes push themselves to the limit, in the freezing cold. Living in current deep-freeze here in the Midwest, it is hard enough to go outside and do chores. Their dedication to training and determination to win is inspiring. However, this year I am equally impressed with how the agriculture industry is front and center during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

Last week, I wrote about Missouri’s own speed skating sensation Emily Scott backing the beef industry. She will share the message of beef being an important part of her training regime, explaining how a primary source of protein in her diet is beef. But then came the video from Ralph Lauren.





I had heard of the Olympic team’s opening ceremony sweaters being made from American wool. The patchwork quilt design is complete red, white and blue Americana. I was thrilled to know that once again, the country’s agriculture industry was in the limelight. It was a way to show that agriculture not only feeds and fuels, but also clothes the world.

Then my husband sent over the video link courtesy of a fellow producer. It is a great piece provided by company representatives at Ralph Lauren. However, the story is not told from the designer’s viewpoint, rather from a shepherd’s. The clip takes viewers to the Imperial Stock Ranch in Oregon to discover a sheep farm. We meet the shepherds, Jeanne Carver, along with her husband Dan. They take us on a journey of what western sheep production looks like in America. But it doesn’t stop at the farm.

GOING FOR THE GOLD: The 2014 USA Olympic Team will don wool from Imperial Stock Ranch next month in Sochi as part of the opening ceremony attire. This year agriculture takes center stage at the games as athletes wear wool and eat beef.
GOING FOR THE GOLD: The 2014 USA Olympic Team will don wool from Imperial Stock Ranch next month in Sochi as part of the opening ceremony attire. This year agriculture takes center stage at the games as athletes wear wool and eat beef.

The video shows how the wool travels from the farm to the spinner in Pennsylvania, to where it is dyed in North Carolina. The wool then travels to California where it is meticulously crafted into individual sweaters. I absolutely love that the video displays just how we in agriculture play an important role in the economy. Our products reach far beyond the barn gates.

So, thanks Ralph Lauren. Thanks for putting American agriculture back in the forefront of our nation. The agriculture industry truly has something to celebrate these 2014 Winter Olympic Games. USA! USA!

Take a minute to view the embedded video. Then share with your friends. Let them know just how agriculture is affecting the Winter Games.