Valentine’s Day, a festival of romantic love. Romantic love might be one of the last items that most farmers think about. Being a farmer’s wife, I really can’t think of the last romantic thing that my husband or I have done for each other in the form of cards, letters, flowers, chocolates or presents for no reason. Yes, these forms of love are great and appreciated, and we will probably do one or multiple of them for Valentine’s Day, but because of tradition more than for romantic love.
To be honest, Valentine’s Day is one of the hardest holidays to celebrate as a farmer or a farmer’s wife. It’s a day devoted for a couple to go out on a date, to get each other the perfect gift that shows how much you love the other person and to put full time and effort into loving one another in one day. I don’t know about you but as a farmer and a farmer’s wife, there are about a hundred other items on my to-do list right now that come before showing my love in those forms. Not that I don’t love my farmer, I love him more than anything in my life, but to set a whole day or night away to show him my love is a little impractical. Not to mention anytime we decide to make a date night or go away for a day, something always happens on the farm. Especially since Valentine’s Day is always in February and the average high is 27 F here you can almost count on something drastic happening, such as a water pipe freezing, a cow deciding to have twins at 6:45 p.m. when you are supposed to have supper at 7:30, a feed conveyor busting a chain on frozen feed and the list goes on…
I’m sure every farmer reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about. Or there is the complete opposite where you both are going out to do chores early and making a big effort to get into the house on time, to take a shower and get ready to go out for the night, and you both sit down for five minutes and at the same exact time you both say you don’t want to go out anymore. So, you pop in a frozen pizza watch a movie on Netflix and are both in bed by 9:00 pm. The thing is we enjoy these nights almost as much, if not more than, our big planned out date nights.
There are multiple reasons why we seem to enjoy the quiet nights instead of big date nights such as Valentine’s Day. First, being out doing chores together and spending time with our animals and living out our passion is a blessing and a completely different love. One of the main reasons why I fell in love with my husband is because he is a farmer. The way he takes care of me, our animals and our land makes me fall in love with him repeatedly. Second, it’s the little things that we do for each other every day that makes us feel more loved than cards and flowers. My farmer filled the dishwasher three times for me this week and I love him more because he did that than if he decided to get me flowers. Although flowers are appreciated occasionally, it’s the little things that I need help with, when I am busy, that he does to make my life easier that are most appreciated. He would say the same thing, if I can go out and help with extra chores so that he can get into the house faster so that he has an extra half hour to relax, he loves me more than if I got him a present unexpectedly. Third, its knowing that we still love each other without making a big effort to impress each other. The fact that I can come in from the barn put on one of his sweatshirts, which is two times too big for me, and my yoga pants and make a frozen pizza and sit down with him is just as romantic as putting on a dress, doing my makeup and going out for a nice night.
As a farmer’s wife and a farmer, you can say I have a unique perspective on romance than most people, and I would guess there are a lot of farmers’ wives and girlfriends that can say the same thing. Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday but to be honest it’s no different than most days around the farm, except for maybe a card, some flowers, and maybe a nice home-cooked steak dinner. To me, Valentine’s Day is a nice reminder that my husband and I sometimes need more love and affection than the normal day-to-day stuff we do. It also reminds me that I am extremely blessed to have a farmer as a husband because he loves me completely different than if I didn’t have a farmer as a husband. That’s the part of Valentine’s Day that I love the most, it is the reflection of our love for one another, for our animals and our land.
Amber Dwyer and her husband, Logan, raise 50 head of beef cattle and 250 acres of crops in Chetek. They are Barron County Farm Bureau members. Amber works off the farm on a 700-cow dairy farm while Logan sells Pioneer seed and is a firefighter. The couple enjoys spending time outdoors, especially with their animals, and they like spending time with friends and family.