Metro-East Living

‘Farming and I Grow It’ YouTube star will close O’Fallon conference

Greg Peterson will be the closing speaker at the FamilyFarms conference. He and his brothers use social media to promote farming.
Greg Peterson will be the closing speaker at the FamilyFarms conference. He and his brothers use social media to promote farming.

Greg Peterson and his brothers made a parody music video for YouTube in 2012 in an effort to show his non-farming friends what his family does.

“I’m Farming and I Grow It” has since educated 10 million viewers about their “passion for their plants” and how “all the hungry cattle are staring at me.” Their videos have reached more than 45 million people hungry for farming knowledge.

Peterson will close the FamilyFarms Group summer conference on Thursday at Enjoy Church in O’Fallon. FamilyFarms Group’s summer conference, which starts Monday, includes agricultural research and ideas of how corn growers can benefit from carbon credits. Sessions also will focus on farm succession and transition, part of the group’s commitment to the family farmer.

“The whole purpose is to keep family farms in families,” says spokesperson Jill Miller.

While Peterson Brothers is becoming something of a small media empire with the videos and speaking engagements, that’s not the point, Greg says.

“We started (videos) just to show our friends what our farm is like,” Peterson said recently by phone from the family’s farm in Kansas.

“We’re trying to be the voice for farmers and ranchers and show other people what we’re doing. That was our goal from the beginning, just on a smaller scale.”

There are a number of misconceptions about the modern farmer, he says, including “that there’s no technology, farmers aren’t very smart.”

Greg and his brothers, Nathan and Kendal and “honorary bro” Laura, dance and sing while feeding cattle and cutting silage. They wear ball caps, jeans and boots, their faces are sometimes sweaty and dirty but often smiling.

Greg and Nathan both hold bachelor’s degrees from Kansas State University, where Kendal is now majoring in agribusiness. Their videos are peppered with references to tractor parts and technology, and the brothers explain a rural concern like moisture levels to a city audience.

“We just wanted to show our friends how cool we thought farming was,” Greg said.

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