Chris Soules, star of ABC’s The Bachelor, made headlines during his journey to find love, thanks to his charming rural upbringing and his passion for the farm that he manages today. Otherwise known as “Prince Farming,” Soules is using his unique platform in Hollywood to advocate for agriculture. Here are four great ways he’s putting agriculture in the national spotlight.
1. There were plenty of visits to the farm with the city girls on The Bachelor.
ABC’s The Bachelor wrapped up a few weeks ago with Soules giving the final rose and proposing marriage to nurse Whitney Bischoff. But before he made his final decision, Soules took his soon-to-be fiancé for a ride in his combine, explaining to her the ins and outs of harvesting corn.
While a little hokey at times -- ABC’s prop department went a little crazy in decorating the barn for the final rose ceremony -- it’s very rare for agriculture to have an opportunity to be in the spotlight in such a big way.
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Viewers were able to get a glimpse of farm life on the show many times. They were exposed to rural America and small-town life, and gained insight into the dedication and commitment of farmers to their livelihood. The young women vying for Soules’ heart knew he and the farm were a package deal.
Watch this promotional video that Soules produced with the Iowa Farm Bureau before his season of The Bachelor aired.
2. He’s still in the spotlight on Dancing with the Stars.
It seems everyone loves this charming cowboy, as fans of Soules now get to cheer for him on another ABC show, Dancing with the Stars.
The first episode of the season aired earlier this week, and Soules danced the jive in cowboy boots. I’m sure there will be ample time to teach this farmer how to foxtrot in the weeks to come; however, I’m hoping he also sneaks in a few agricultural moments on the show. You can bet I’ll be tuning in to find out! Watch his debut performance in the video below.
3. He’s an ambassador for the new America’s Pig Farmer of the Year program.
Recently, Soules partnered with the National Pork Board as an ambassador for the new America's Pig Farmer of the Year award program. The pork checkoff’s new award program will honor the U.S. pork producer who best excels at raising pigs responsibly, ethically and transparently.
"The public is the main audience, rather than our own industry, because that’s who has questions about how we raise pigs,” said Brad Greenway, vice president of the National Pork Board. “Producers demonstrate ethical principles on their farms every day, and the new award is a unique way to share that with the public.”
The partnership between Soules and the pork checkoff was announced during the 2015 Pork Industry Forum in San Antonio on March 6. Nominations for the America’s Pig Farmer of the Year are open from April 1 through May 15. Soules will get to serve as a celebrity judge, helping to select the winner of the award.
“I’m honored to be a part of the America’s Pig Farmer of the Year award program,” Soules said in a speech at the 2015 Pork Industry Forum. “As farmers, it’s our responsibility to tell our story to audiences outside of rural America, especially in the big coastal cities, so that they can learn how their food is raised by farmers who care about their animals and are committed to improving every day. This award format will help us do that.”
More details are available at americaspigfarmer.com.
4. He’s started his own agricultural advocacy blog!
On his blog, Soules writes, “Through my experience on The Bachelor, I had the chance to travel, grow and strengthen myself, but I also learned how others outside of the Midwest view the American farmer. Because farmers have done such a great job in providing reliable, safe and affordable commodities, they are often taken for granted and misunderstood. I now have the opportunity to make a difference and a responsibility to elevate the industry I have served and enjoyed since birth – agriculture. I’m optimistic about the future of agriculture, and I plan to utilize my skills and abilities to serve as a spokesperson for the industry, highlighting recent developments and advancements farmers have made to get us where we are today.”
Watch Soules’ video explaining his new mission to be an advocate for agriculture below.
What’s not to love about Soules? He’s such a great spokesperson for rural America, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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