The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Well, perhaps it’s not for sale, but here’s one recent example of how a rural identity is at least for rent…
Over the Labor Day weekend, I was scrolling through Twitter and stumbled across the story that Mayo, Florida agreed to rename itself Miracle Whip, Florida. The publicity stunt by Kraft Heinz was said to “remove mayo from existence.” The terms of the agreement were limited to just a few days, and in return the small town (population less than 1,300 and county seat for Lafayette county) received $25,000.
There is a ripe crop of towns scattered across this country with food-inspired/ag-inspired names. Just to name a few:
Ding Dong, Texas
Soda Spring, Idaho
Each town has a unique history of its origin and why its name was settled upon when the town was settled.
The example of Mayo to Miracle Whip, Fla., just highlights how pervasive product placement is in our lives. Judging from the social media reaction by residents, it appears its citizens were proud to have any kind of spotlight on their community.
Perhaps a great reflection of a community is that when some attention is put on the community, the community reacts with pride and resilience—by any name.