Where Does Your McDonald’s Hamburger Start

It’s a new year and new start. Happy 2012! I came across a video late last night that I have to share this morning. For 20 plus years, my parents owned and operated a small advertising agency. One of our largest clients was McDonald’s. My dad and employees did regional advertising and promotions for McDonald’s across the upper midwest US.

It allowed me to have every Happy Meal toy in the 1980’s. Every single one. Usually a year ahead of them getting into my friends’ Happy Meals.
It also taught me a bit about the quick service restaurant industry. Business changed and the McDonald’s work ended for my parents in the mid-1990’s.  Since then my parents have been full time farmers and my dad continues as a part time marketing and advertising consultant. I have worked alongside of him for the past ten years. However, this week my career is changing. It’s a new year and a new chapter. But when I came across this video late last night on YouTube I was reminded the connection between farm and food along with the career I have been a part with my dad.

This is a McDonald’s video. It is very well produced with a fantastic budget. But what it says matter. It’s from the voice of a beef rancher and his family who raises beef for McDonald’s. It will take less than 2 minutes of your time to watch.

Where your food comes from matters and American farmers and ranchers along with companies and brands can use social media to connect us to understanding how and where our food is raised. You can literally know and trust a farmer by using social media tools. This video gives me hope in the new year for more connection and stories to be told between the entire farm to plate channels from food producers, processors, restaurants and consumers . Thank you McDonald’s for finally connecting the voice of the farmer and rancher to the hamburgers you sell to billions.

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Comments

  1. Great video I hope a lot of people view this and we get positive feedback. My hubby loves McD. He says their food is more consistent from one McD to another. If he is looking for something to eat it will be a McD.

  2. Thanks for sharing the video with us.

  3. that’s a great commercial. i think i caught a snippet of it while fast forwarding last night – recognized the saddling of the horse part. 🙂

  4. Great post! Also, how many kids were totally jealous you got all the Happy Meal toys? Talk about fun!!

    I have to confess that McDonalds is my fav of the fast food industry. Those fries. They get me every time 😉

  5. I’m glad this video is catching on too. I ended up writing a post myself this morning after seeing the video on Facebook. Turns out there are two other videos as well. One is about a potato farmer, and the other is about lettuce. I compared these videos to the Chipotle video from a while back. That video has about 4.2M views so far, while McD has about 700 between all three videos so I think we should all be sharing these videos showcasing real farmers.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There’s a word for this – it’s called farm-washing. Basically, McDonald’s is trying to take advantage of people’s positive perception of farmers in order to improve their own corporate image. As a farmer who tries to cultivate genuine connections to the people who eat what I grow, I find this offensive. Have you ever researched the number of cows whose parts may or may not be in each fast-food hamburger patty? Can you even pronounce the full ingredient list of McD’s fries? I’m sorry, but I cannot decide who is more foolish: farmers who think that McD’s is doing this on their behalf, or consumers who feel more “connected” to the source of their Happy Meal after viewing this propaganda.

  7. Thanks for your feedback. @Anonymous I have seen the term “farm washing” and think that is very disrespectful of farmers. I don’t think McDonald’s is doing this on farmers behalf. It’s great marketing. They are telling an emotional story. It is the whole story? Absolutely not. My point is that I would like to see more of the entire food to plate channel tell these stories. We need all farmers. Farmers like yourself and even farmers that supply large corporations like McDonald’s. I don’t believe this is wrong. Thanks again for your feedback. Please feel free to leave your name and email and I would be happy to have continued dialogue with you on this topic or any other farm and food topics.

  8. Hi Katie, @Anonymous here again – hoping Google will let me sign in this time around (looks like it did!) I’d be interested to hear why you think the term “farmwashing” is disrespectful of farmers – to me it’s an acknowledgement of the fact that farmers are respected by many and that marketers recognize the fact and want to take advantage – it’s more disrespectful of marketers, in my opinion! I’m not opposed to telling the stories of all types of farmers (it’s very interesting that you assumed I was a farmer who did not supply large corporations, btw), but I believe we need to consider the intent, and it’s pretty clear to me that McD’s intent is to tell a very skewed story about their product. Whether it’s great marketing or not remains to be seen – I’ve noted a fair bit of negative backlash, but that may just be from those who would criticize anything McD’s does…

  9. Beautiful spot. Captures the heart of the farmer. Makes me want to be a rancher. I agree with thefarmerslife. This is a message worth sharing.

    Kudos to McDonald’s for showcasing the real, direct link their food has to the American farmer. McDonald’s is the largest purchaser of American beef in the United States, and I’ll bet they rank high for apples, strawberries, potatoes and vegetables. I’m lovin’ it!

    PS: You have EVERY Happy Meal toy from the 80s?! Girl, that’ll be worth a fortune!

  10. Beautiful spot. Captures the heart of the farmer. Makes me want to be a rancher. I agree with thefarmerslife. This is a message worth sharing.

    Kudos to McDonald’s for showcasing the real, direct link their food has to the American farmer. McDonald’s is the largest purchaser of American beef in the United States, and I’ll bet they rank high for apples, strawberries, potatoes and vegetables. I’m lovin’ it!

    PS: You have EVERY Happy Meal toy from the 80s?! Girl, that’ll be worth a fortune!

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