Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I am not your typical farm wife, or am I?

Lately whenever anyone learns that I am married to a farmer, they reply, "Really? I would have never guessed." This really struck me when a second cousin who I hadn't seen since I was 13 said it to me a few weeks ago.

Does this say more about the image I project or their stereotype of what a farmer's wife should be?

I don't think I have a prima donna persona. I consider myself to be pretty versatile and down to earth. I can wear a business suit to work, then two hours later be covered in dirt and sweat working in my garden in cut off jeans. I like to have my hair styled, jewelry on, and be clean because it makes me feel good about myself. At the same time, I have no qualms about running errands with wet hair and no makeup in my yoga pants and flip flops. I like to tent camp and my dream is to reclaim the jacked up 1979 jeep wrangler with glass packs my dad gave my sister, brother and me to drive as teenagers.

I am not meek. I believe in being self-sufficient, working hard and paying your dues. I have my own specific professional and personal goals and I am part of the goals for our family farm.

The above description sounds a lot like my other farm wife friends. We are all strong women with careers; some linked to agriculture, some not. We are all moms. We all support our husbands and our family farms in our own ways. (No, I do not bring meals to the field. The only person who brings meals to me at work is the Jimmy John's delivery guy. If you are hungry, call him.) I think I am your typical 30 something farm wife.

So why is this incredulous "Really" happening? Is it because I am surrounded by people who have no real link to those who grow our food, fiber and energy? Since I was around people from small towns and people related to the agriculture industry through college and in my first five years of work, have I started to take for granted that people know that farming is a serious profession? And, that I, as a farm wife play a part, both on and off the farm?

So my question to you: How should farm wives look, act, live? What am I doing so wrong?


  1. Okay, I have been thinking about this one for several days. I had to giggle the first time I read your post. I too have a stereotype of what I think a farm wife is.....and you don't exactly match it. I tried for a few years...but failed. Ben's mom, Carol, is what I think of as the ideal farm wife. She stays at home....used to make a full lunch (I mean salad to dessert) for the boys, always has a hot pot of coffee and a fresh baked good available, and can take care of any issue when it comes up. She has always been a true servant (and I say that in a very positive way) to her husband, the farm, and her children. Now, I tried that...but my meals were purchased and my coffee was never as good. Although I could never be Carol....I don't serve near as well either.....I think her dedication to the farm particularly the men who run it, is amazing. are amazing in a different way. You can juggle more than I would even attempt. You are one of the best multi-taskers I know. Your support for your husband is obvious. The modern day farmers wife is different though. Having a life beyond the farmstead is different than past generations. You are the Bree Van de Camp version of a farm wife. I love it....and I am sure your family wouldn't want it any different.

  2. I am so jealous that you are married to a farmer! :-) I would love to live on a farm and have fresh veggies and fruits and eggs and even milk. I know it's a lot of work, but it would be wonderful to be able to provide our own food.

  3. Oh, and I guess I should actually ANSWER your question. :-) The farmer's wife that lives on the farm behind our development is a stylish, modern mom who happens to be married to a farmer. She has her own career (she actually cuts hair in a garage addition to the farm house) and has 4 kids that she carts around to various activities, she is on the worship team at church, etc. She is just like me, her husband just has a different profession. And she can go outside and get fresh eggs from the barn. ;-)