The Pros & Cons of Dating A Farmer
So you want to date a farmer? Be prepared for a different type of dating scene. There are a few things that anyone dating a farmer should know.
Cows Don’t Know It’s Date Night
Neither do sheep, or mares, pigs, chickens or even llamas. Unfortunately, the animals we raise don’t ask us for our schedule. They don’t check in. Never has one of our ewes let me know in the afternoon that at about 9:00 that night she’s going to try to squeeze out triplets and, by the way, two will be tangled up and backwards. If they did, we could pencil it in and plan accordingly. That would be great! Yeah, doesn’t happen. It never fails when farmers are dressed up for their first date night in forever, BAM! the phone rings. It’s the neighbor down the road. The bull is out. He’s in the neighbor’s corn and he pulled the fence completely down in that corner at the road during his great escape. The farmer, and his or her date, must be adaptable. The bull can’t hang out in the corn. The fence has to be fixed. The date doesn’t have to be over, there is just a location change.
One of the best nights my husband and I had while we were dating happened because of a newborn calf and a snowstorm. We were set to go to a play at the famous theatre in our town. I was excited. Him, not so much. We decided we better check the cows one more time. And there it was. In the very back. In a virtual blizzard. The newborn calf. Momma wasn’t claiming it so my farmer carried the little calf on his shoulders all the way to an old unused milk house on the property. I was hoping we could take care of the little fella pretty quick and still make the play but he was in rough shape. We spent that night into the morning warming him up, trying to get him to take colostrum, and every other thing we could do to help him survive. We laughed and talked, even about the future. The snow outside made it that much better. We never did make it to the play (and haven’t since). I was disappointed at first. It’s not every day we go to the theatre. I had to adapt and accept. It turned out to be one of the best nights ever.
There’s Work to be Done
Always. Sometimes it can wait. Sometimes it can’t. “Make hay while the sun shines” isn’t just a catchy saying. There are only certain times to do certain tasks. So, make that chore a date. Ride in the tractor together. Hit those fields as a couple. Be a deworming crew of two. Great dates don’t have to be dinner and a movie. In fact, farmer-style dates can be much more interesting. A lot of Fall dates with my husband were with a stock trailer behind us. We would grab a bite to eat and then spend hours in the truck waiting in line at the stock market to load out cattle. Those nights helped us get to know each other. If you can spend that kind of time in a confined space with someone, you know they’re a keeper.
Since many farms are family affairs, so you get to know the family too. My husband and I were both raised on beef and burley tobacco operations. Raising tobacco is labor intensive. From setting (planting) to stripping (removing the leaves from the stalks to be sold) and a whole lot of work in between. When we were dating, we split our time together between the two farms working with each other’s extended family. Again, if you can spend hours upon hours in a dusty tobacco stripping barn with sticky hands and tired feet then you can probably handle these people for the next 50 family reunions.
It’s OK to Date Dirty
Hey now…I mean literal dirt, manure and mud. Lots of times the date happens when the work is done. Other times the date happens when there’s just a break. You take your coveralled selves into Arby’s. You wonder why people are looking you over. You’re just a girl on a lunch date with the love of her life. You’re just a guy treating your lovely lady to a roast beef ‘n cheddar and, because you are a gentleman, curly fries. Then it hits you. You’ve been working cattle. Fixing fence in the mud. Or basically any farm chore on your list. Your coveralls are muddy, your hands are stained, and there might be a little blood on your hoodie from those freshly castrated steers. Ladies, if you’re like me, your hair may be in a messy bun on top of your head or tucked under the old baseball hat. Make up? HA! Probably not. But who cares. This is the farmer’s version of a day-date. It may not be featured in any popular women’s magazine but you’ve spent time with your significant other and now you’re taking a break to enjoy being together before the work begins again.
I knew a couple who were from the same area but never dated each other until college. He was a farmer. She was not. When they went home for spring break they were excited to share their love with the hometown crowd. His family had planned the spring cattle working around the guy being home to help. Their romance was doomed one fateful day when he met her for lunch, between loads of cattle, and had the audacity to show up dirty. She was offended. Like, actually had hurt feelings that he dare to show up to dine with her with cow poop on his pants. Soon after, they went their separate ways. She wasn’t bad. She just wasn’t prepared to deal with a farmer’s life. He wasn’t prepared for her brand of manure.
We Love You. We Love the Farm, Too.
And it’s been here longer…. Just joking, kinda. The love for the family farm runs deep. Farmers, families, pour their blood, sweat and tears into the farm. They work hard. Play hard. And put their heart into the farm. The farmer loves who they love because that person can love the farm. If my husband had not wanted to be a part of our farm it would’ve been a deal-breaker. He would say the same about me. That’s understanding that farming is not a 9 to 5. It’s not a career or just a job. It is a way of life. One that most farmers are proud to live.
When you date a farmer or when two farmers get together, it’s not always going to be champagne and roses. True love doesn’t HAVE to be a TV movie. It’s when you’re opening gates and he gives you his gloves because you forgot yours. When you feed ALL the bottle lambs because that is his least favorite chore. It’s washing his favorite jeans in your brand new washer even though they are crusted with mud. It’s sneaking out to the barn on Sunday morning so she can sleep a little late. Yeah, sometimes you miss the theatre, or the cook-out, ballgame or night the movies. But when you date a farmer you get So. Much. More.