If you’re like many people, you grew up singing Old Mac Donald Had A Farm and that tune formed an impression for you of what farming was like. The Land O’Lakes cooperative wants to shake that up a bit and has rewritten the song to suggest that Old MacDonald had a daughter, too. Women now comprise one-third of all U.S. farmers and the cooperative’s Female Farmer Project aims to highlight women’s role in the food chain.

Land O’Lakes has worked with Grammy-winning artist Maggie Rose to “rewrite the song for women rewriting the rules.” The campaign features several videos, one She-I-O: “Old MacDonald had a daughter, Look what she does with what he taught her, She-I-E-I-O…” Another has visuals of women working the farm while the voiceover reads a poem about what once was thought of as their traditional role in raising kids and putting food on the table. The commercial concludes with “keep defying stereotypes in every field”. Both ads are full of powerful images and shake up the impression many non-farmers have of who is running the agricultural industry today.

Do your clients understand who works for your organization? Maybe you are multi-generational, from a wide span of geographies, attended a wide range of colleges or have some other demographic characteristic that could defy some of the stereotypes people hold. Don’t let Land O’Lakes be the only ones doing some myth-busting about their workforce.

image from She-I-O commercial

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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