“Corn Kid” has taken on a new—and quite fitting—role.
During Labor Day Weekend, 7-year-old Tariq was named South Dakota’s official “Corn-bassador.” He received the honor over Labor Day weekend, about a month after his connoisseurship turned him into an internet sensation. Tariq, whose last name wasn’t revealed because of privacy concerns, appeared in an episode of Recess Therapy, a web series in which comedian/host Julian Shapiro-Barnum interviews kids on NYC playgrounds.
The now-viral video featured Tariq chomping down on a large ear of corn, as he proceeded to profess his love for the starchy vegetable.
“Ever since I was told that corn was real, it tasted good,” he told the host. “But when I tried it with butter, everything changed. I love corn…I mean just look at this thing, I can’t imagine a more beautiful thing—it’s corn!”
The interview went on to garner millions of views, and has inspired countless TikTok videos as well as a viral song by the Gregory Brothers. But perhaps the biggest honor came from South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem, who declared Sept. 3 “Official Corn-bassador Tariq Day.”
“Whereas, South Dakota is one of the top corn producers in the nation, providing nourishment across the globe but especially to Tariq, a 7-year-old boy who recently discovered that corn was real,” the declaration read. “… Tariq loves corn and encourages everyone to try it, even if it’s only one bite … Tariq’s a-maize-ing endorsement contains more than a kernel of truth and has reached ears across the world via social media.”
According to the Washington Post, Tariq and his family traveled from New York to Mitchell, South Dakota for an honorary ceremony. The event reportedly took place at the “World’s Only Corn Palace,” where Tariq got to enjoy the attraction and meet with fans.
“Tariq shared his love of the vegetable corn with Recess Therapy during an interview,” Katlyn Svendsen, global media and PR director for South Dakota Department of Tourism, said in a press release. “This warm and fun, charming video quickly went viral…and we all fell in love with Tariq, affectionately called The Corn Kid, and he was known across the world. So today we’re here in the great state of South Dakota at the world’s only Corn Palace to be here with you [Tariq], and we welcome you and your family to experience some of South Dakota’s finest things.”