If you are dating a farmer, marrying a farmer, curious about farming or just made the plunge into farm life, this is for you.
KEEP STRONG IN YOUR FAITH. You must trust in God to get you through the trials you will endure with your farm, relationships and critics. You will be tested. Pray.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Every farmer’s wife/girlfriend will feel this at one time or another. It can get lonely when your husband/boyfriend is working long hours (planting and harvest season). Just like every farmwife, I totally understand. Reach out to me, I am here for you anytime you want to talk. Better yet, get in the tractor with him. This leads to number 3.
MAKE TIME FOR DATE NIGHT. Do not always expect roses and a box of chocolates. Take advantage of the small moments (they are dates). Riding in the farm truck to get parts, going through the drive-thru to get a bucket of chicken (cause y'all are too tired to cook), or being squished in the buddy seat in the tractor are all considered dates. Believe me. And if you get your farmer to go on vacation (even an earned seed trip), consider it a miracle! Appreciate your time together, even if they are small moments.
BE FLEXIBLE. You be disappointed when plans are made and he cannot make it (especially if you already got all dazzled up), it will happen. He wants to be there (believe me). But machinery will break down, the cows will get out, give birth or get injured, a neighbor (farmer) will need help or it is time to be in the fields. Do NOT make plans during planting or harvest season unless you are taking a friend or attending alone. It is okay to attend by yourself. This leads to number 5.
YES, MY FARMER EXIST. I have repeated this or tried to defend him so many times, I have lost track. I finally realized not everyone is going to understand. That's okay, they don't need too. This your relationship, not theirs.
YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID. Yes, this is harsh, but look, there are a lot of misinformed, hypocritical people in this world. You can explain and defend your farming methods and animal practices and they will still not agree. Ignore them and don't let them bring you down. But most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP. And since they think they know more, invite them to muck out the barn with you. Guaranteed, they won't.
LEARN YOUR DIRECTIONS. North, South, East, West are a farmer's language. Not left or right. They will always need you to bring them something, whether it is lunch or a tool. P.S. Use the sun's location, your phone has a compass or go buy a plat book at your local county farm bureau and map out the fields. Farmers like to name their fields too. Learning their unique field names will also help you find your farmer.
ADJUST TO FARM TERMINOLOGY: Just like learning directions, you will adjust to hearing all about the weather (it can make or break you), animals breeding or giving birth, colors of tractors, and market prices. Farmers like to go into explicit detail and none of these subjects are sacred at the dinner table. It is their lifestyle and now yours too.
CHECK POCKETS. Always, and I mean always, check pockets before washing your farmer's clothes. Bolts. Screws. Livestock chalk. Knives. Twine. Receipts. Pens. Keys. None of these fair well in the washer and dryer.
TO MY LIVESTOCK GIRLS:
a. Never leave the house without water, boots and chapstick. Thirsty, manure and wind.
b. If you are going to town, never enter the barn before leaving, you will smell.
c. Manure stains, always change out of your "good clothes", if possible.
d. Straw sticks to everything, shake off outside. You will still find it in your laundry.
e. Running shoes are your best friend when the cows get out.
f. Most importantlly, close up your house tight when they are hauling manure.
Less than 2 percent of the population is involved in agriculture production. If you made the commitment to a farmer and his life, you are an extraordinary person. It takes dignity, determination and devotion to live this lifestyle and I, my friend, salute you.
Read more about Number 8 here: Why Do Farmers Depend on the Soil, Weather and Grain Markets