At first it was kind of funny, in a twisted sort of way. Little Brother made some AHF (Actually Helping Farmers) shirts back in 2012, got shut down by the University of Iowa and cried about how they were the agriculture school in Iowa.
They are, of course, but then came the attack on America Needs Farmers, an organization that does good work. It was pretty easy to ignore. Again, Little Brother doing Little Brother things.
It died down, as it should have, until this weekend. Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell and his team decided to visit a farm or something and tweeted out “AHF.”
The team that plays together stays together!Thanks to Aaron Wendel showing us how special it is to represent CycloneNation. #FarmStrong#AHF pic.twitter.com/g7vj5OjeKU— Matt Campbell (@ISUMattCampbell) July 23, 2017
Look, I respect the fact Iowa State prides itself as an agricultural school. They do some really good work in a number of fields relating to food production and the industry around it. With the growing world population it’s absolutely critical we figure out how to produce more and more food.
That said, the University of Iowa is in Iowa, too. Trying to delegitimize what ANF does using an underhanded and internet-created hashtag is the peak of stupidity.
In case you needed a refresher, ANF was the brainchild of Hayden Fry as a way to show support for farmers during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s. Land values dropped, interest rates spiked, with exports dropping as well. It all boiled down to around 20,000 family farms going under.
It was a disaster. ANF is a way to show that people care and continues to put money in the Iowa food bank coffers. Wearing the gear or having a sticker on your car isn’t some huge thing, and it’s not supposed to be. It’s a quiet way to show support for the people who make sure there’s enough food for everyone to eat.
A lot of us born in the state have farmers in the family as do a number of transplants from other parts of the midwest. This isn’t some sort of competition and by using the “AHF” hashtag all Matt Campbell and Iowa State are doing is being childish and petty.
Iowa shows support by wearing the decal on their football helmets and wrestling headgear, and by having an ANF game during the year. It’s not a shot at you, Iowa State, so stop taking it as one.
Just a thought.