With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, I decided I would write a lovey-dovey blog post. For close to a year now I have been dating a dairy farmer. That being said, this gal had a lot to learn about milking cows and farm life in general. Here are five things I learned about dating a farmer:
1. Be patient. Farming is one big game of hurry-up-and-wait. Nothing happens instantly when you’re in a business that won’t let you pick your crops until six or seven months after they’ve been planted. In addition, there are several times a year when you may not hear from your farmer until late at night because a cow got sick or something broke down. Breathe and know that 99.9% of the time that your farmer not texting you back is NOT your fault.
2. Laugh it off. Awhile back I got stuck in a manure pile and had my rubber boots get sucked off by many viscous layers of poop. I had to run to the house in my socks and I was screaming because I could feel all the excrement soaking through the fabric. Now that I look back on that incident, I think it’s hilarious, but during very trying times (things that are much more tragic than wading through cow poop in your bare socks) having a sense of humor will get you through.
3. Have faith, and lots of it. They say that a farmer’s prayers are best summed up by three words: “Maybe next year.” Farming is hard, and it’s even harder when you don’t have faith that the hard times will get better. Farmers are strong people, but the ones they love need to be just as strong. Be there when your farmer needs to lean on you.
4. Rethink your definition of a date. Silo unloaders will break down and pregnant cows will drop their calves whenever the words “date” and “night” are said within earshot, especially if they’re used together. Things will go wrong on a farm. It’s good to make plans in advance and have a few dates off the farm, but be flexible and patient enough to handle any curveballs that come your way. When you’re dating a farmer, you can’t just jump in the car whenever you please. There are more important things that need to be attended to. Spend time with your farmer. Help him do chores and be willing to learn; that time you spend milking cows or raking hay will absolutely mean the world to them. Some of my favorite memories were made in the barn or in a tractor cab.
5. Actions definitely speak louder than words. There isn’t much time for fancy dinner dates on a farm, and there usually isn’t enough money for fancy jewelry or extravagant gifts. A lot of girls shudder at the thought of not having those things in a relationship, and they don’t feel loved when they aren’t being showered with gifts. But I know this from experience: if he cares enough to dig shoulder-deep into a pile of manure to rescue your rubber boots, or nurses you through an intestinal infection that you picked up from his calves, he loves you.
I have learned so much in the past 11 months of being with Sam. The biggest thing I learned: I love this crazy life, despite the good and bad that comes with it, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.