I recently had a conversation with a couple of friends from
college about farmers and relationships.
This lady did not hail from an agricultural background, but
we had spent time together because we lived in the Hampton House, a historic
building where a program devoted to servant-leadership was organized, so we had
talked about a variety of subjects in the past, including Mormonism since one of
the other residents was Mormon.
One of the things my old friend brought up was how she felt
like it would be really trying as a farmer to meet new people. She recently had
seen a commercial on TV advertising the dating website, FarmersOnly.com, and was
tickled to see the animals on the farm complain about how their farmers never
Our chat had barely begun when I noticed that my mates were
peppering it with all kinds of cute farm-related puns and colloquialisms. “I’ll
bet people post all kinds of agr-appropriate pickup lines, like, ‘Hey baby,
let’s combine,’” the girl joked.
Though I have no personal experience as a farmer, I did grow
up in a small town, and I agreed that it would be hard to meet new people as a
farmer. They have fewer opportunities primarily because there are a lot fewer
people in rural areas than in cities.
Many of the current dating and social sites are based in
cities, and people in rural areas are, therefore, unable to connect with anyone
by using them.
Farmers also have less time to meet new people and date
because they’re so busy farming. They wake up before the sun to farm, eat
dinner, farm throughout the day and then farm some more before they go to sleep.
For most people, “dinner” usually is followed by a
late-night movie, book, TV show, video game or other pastime before bed, but
when farmers eat dinner, their day is only just beginning.
There also seems to exist in agriculture some trepidation
when it comes to meeting new people. Farmers naturally have things to talk about
with other farmers, and there aren’t that many farmers out there, so they stick
to the communities and social circles they know.
Their neighbors can’t reach out their window and shake hands
or pass a cup of sugar because they could live a whole mile away.
Our conversation really resonated later because it made me
realize it it’s really difficult to discuss another culture without being lost
in translation. I had no doubt that while the lady may not have understood the
farm lifestyle or the all social aspects of agriculture, she cherished farmers
as special people who grow our food and take care of our rural
President Barack Obama, who has made history as our first
black president and who continues to make history as a thoughtful, passionate
person and a powerful speaker, has faced his own share of challenges from
prejudiced individuals and those who are taking big personal steps toward
accepting equality in society.
I grew up in a family where I was not only taught to
tolerate and be respectful of people of different backgrounds, but to seek them
out. To this day, I relish the opportunity to meet someone who has a story that
is different than mine.
We’re all social by nature and are naturally going to click
with some folks more than others, but it’s very important to keep our hearts
open to everyone, because you never know who you’re going to meet or how much
they can change your life, for better or worse.
It wasn’t until the end of our conversation that I realized
what all the fuss was about, however: It turned out the girl had met and was
seeing a farmer through the website!